Leaders in south-central parishes pleased with flood-mitigation works
MITCHELL... my team is constantly monitoring what is happening in the parish

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Leaders in two south-central parishes, while grateful that the country was spared the worst of Hurricane Ian, were pleased with drain-cleaning efforts as part of flood mitigation that commenced three months ago.

Mayor of Mandeville Donovan Mitchell said there were no reports of flooding following heavy and persistent rain in Manchester.

"…We have been watching areas like Porus, Alligator Pond, the town centre [Mandeville], where we generally would have had some flooding on Ward Avenue, but you know we have been doing our drain-cleaning exercise for the month of June and right now we are in the month of September… The mitigation work continues," he said on Monday.

"We are indeed happy to have been spared the brunt of Hurricane Ian, but we are watching the inclement weather as we have been having rain on and off, so my team is constantly monitoring what is happening in the parish, if anything comes up our shelters would be open. Our shelter managers are on standby, but no [shelter] is activated at this time. We are hoping that things will remain this way as we progress into the rest of this week," added Mitchell.

SANGSTER... I am happy that we were not affected in any severe way

Educator Omar Robinson, who is vying to represent the People's National Party in the Alligator Pond Division, said the seaside town and adjoining coastal road were not affected.

"Apart from the schools that closed today – New Forest high and primary, Alligator Pond Primary, and Prospect Primary – I am so happy that we were spared this time around," he said.

He, however, was not pleased with inadequate preparations in Alligator Pond for the hurricane season.

"I haven't seen much, in terms of preparation, especially when it comes to drainage. Not much drain cleaning activity has been happening, even since the start of the hurricane season. We haven't seen much of that, so let us use this as a warning that we are better prepared," said Robinson.

Mayor of Black River Derrick Sangster said low-lying and flood-prone areas were spared the worst.

"Fairly normal so to speak. I haven't heard of any outright flooding. I know areas are being impacted with heavy rain, but I haven't heard of any sort of flooding that would have activated an emergency [response]… Apart from the incident in Lacovia on the weekend, where a tree fell on a house, I haven't heard of any other critical incident," he said.

"I am happy that we were not affected in any severe way because we know what the results of these systems [can be] in terms of damage… Nonetheless there are other places that are going to be impacted, which our sympathies will no doubt go out to, but we have breathed a sigh of relief knowing that we were not heavily impacted by the system," added Sangster.

Low-lying and flood-prone areas, including Parottee, Vineyard, Arlington, Treasure Beach, Slipe, Lacovia, Santa Cruz.

"These are some areas that from time to time would be heavily impacted had there been a greater intensity of the system impacting us. Holland Bamboo going on to Middle Quarters and Luana, [where] a lot of water comes off the hillside going on to the roadway and through the Bamboo, it has not been severe enough to cause any dislocation there as I haven't heard of any flooding there," said Sangster.

There were no reports of flooding in New Market, where the Two Sister Ponds had in recent weeks inundated the main road.

BY KASEY WILLIAMS Observer staff reporter kaseyw@jamaicaobserver.com

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