Grace leaves west with big billThursday, August 19, 2021
BY ANTHONY LEWIS
LUCEA, Hanover – The National Works Agency (NWA) is reporting that the snail's pace movement of Tropical Storm Grace across Jamaica's north-western coast has left the western end of the island with a repair bill which could run into millions of dollars.
Meanwhile, a collapsed bridge in Troy, Trelawny, has left some nine communities in the southern end of the parish cut off from neighbouring Manchester and St Elizabeth.
“It will be in the millions in terms of the repair efforts. It will be a significant undertaking to carry out repairs to these roadways. We have had some significant amount of damage even though we were spared the brunt of the effects when compared to other parishes across the island,” NWA community relations officer for the western region, Janel Ricketts, told the Jamaica Observer yesterday afternoon. She added that estimates were still coming in.
A little over two months ago, the island experienced the effects of another tropical storm, Elsa. However, the duration of rainfall accompanied by gusty winds this time around has left significant damage. In addition to the collapsed bridge in Troy, there was damage from landslides, fallen trees, as well as blocked drains and rivers. Most of the damage has been to roadways.
“You have several roadways that have been scoured. You know that when you have significant flooding, normally, when the water recedes, you have some amount of damage to the asphalt surface. So we have quite a bit of that across the four parishes in the western region,” said Ricketts, who added that the NWA was continuing its damage assessment and restoration of blocked areas.
Meanwhile, the damaged bridge in Troy has been wreaking havoc in Trelawny and neighbouring parishes.
“The whole middle has fallen in. So vehicular traffic cannot use that place. Everybody who is over in Troy will have to stay over in Troy and [who are] over in Manchester will have to stay over in Manchester at this time,” said Mayor of Falmouth Colin Gager.
In the neighbouring parish of St James, Mayor of Montego Bay Leeroy Williams said there had been no major disruption in the parish as a result of Tropical Storm Grace. Efforts to reach Mayor of Lucea Sheridan Samuels, his deputy Andria Dehaney Grant, and the councillor for the Lucea Division Easton Edwards proved futile. It was a similar situation for the Mayor of Savanna-la-Mar Bertel Moore.