Councillor calls for urgent work on Santa Cruz drains
Firefighters rescue a motorist stranded in flood waters on Institution Drive in Santa Cruz last Saturday.

SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth — Councillor Christopher Williams (Jamaica Labour Party, Santa Cruz Division) is calling for priority to be given to the upgrading of the drainage system in this south-central town.

"Whenever it rains for an extended period of time, we have serious flooding in the town of Santa Cruz. Water will come into the town from Malvern, Burnt Ground, Leeds and the Longwood area," Williams told the Jamaica Observer following flooding in Santa Cruz last Saturday.

Main Street in Santa Cruz and its bypass are crucial roads connecting the town to points on the south coasts.

"The drainage system that is present now is very inadequate and cannot contain the abundance of water coming into the town of Santa Cruz. With the hurricane season that will begin on June 1, and the expectation based on projections is that we are going to be getting a lot of rain, I am very concerned about the drainage system that is present now," added Williams.

WILLIAMS...the drainage system needs to be addressed urgently (Photo: Observer File)

"The town is in need of a comprehensive drainage system that will be able to deal with the flooding we have been experiencing. On Saturday there was flooding on Coke Drive, Institution Drive, Market Street and parts of Main Street. On Institution Drive I witnessed personally, firefighters assisting people who were attempting to drive through flood waters and they had to be rescued," said Williams.

"Santa Cruz is one of the fastest developing towns in Jamaica and based on its ideal location, it is well traversed. The flooding normally leads to serious pile-up of traffic in all directions," he added.

Williams pointed out that Prime Minister Andrew Holness, during his presentation in the 2023/2024 Budget Debate, named Santa Cruz as one of the towns where the drainage system will be looked at and work will be done.

"We have to make this a priority to move as quickly as possible to see how best we can solve this nightmare that we are facing in Santa Cruz whenever it rains," said Williams.

BY KASEY WILLIAMS Observer staff reporter kaseyw@jamaicaobserver.com

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