No fear of hurricane or storm
People in the south-east not bothered by bad weather threatSunday, July 04, 2021
BY KIMBERLEY HIBBERT
PLEAS from Prime Minister Andrew Holness for Jamaicans to prepare for the effects of the now downgraded Tropical Storm Elsa have seemingly been ignored by people living in some flood-prone areas, in particular, sections of the south-east.
Yesterday the Jamaica Observer visited Port Royal and though the streets were scanty, fishermen said based on their knowledge of the sea, "not a hurricane a come".
"Just likkle tropical force and winds we getting. If hurricane or serious storm was coming, the tide woulda high. The rods would be full of water and all the boats you see here would be out in the road floating and have to move over to the ball field. You couldn't pass out here. The sea would come right up. The south-west winds would be horrible now; every fisherman would be on their way in," Herbert Dowie, a resident of Port Royal for almost 60 years, told the Sunday Observer.
Dowie said contrary to popular belief, Port Royal is the safest place to be during adverse weather, adding that the residents do not fear hurricanes.
"Water may come up but it goes back out. In no time it runs off. Jamaica always fret on us but we never yet mash up from a storm, but other place wash weh. The only problem we have here is earthquake — and that's unpredictable. We nuh fret pon hurricane, a earthquake we fret pon," Dowie said.
Another resident, John Gatty, said, "All we will get is rain and a little breeze, as usual."
At Weise Road in Nine Miles, Bull Bay, St Andrew, 74-year-old Phyllis Brown told the Sunday Observer that she is just praying that whatever comes does not do damage like Tropical Storm Eta in 2020.
"You see what come the other day? Anything else come is straight to Egypt it carrying us. We just have to leave it in God's hands and trust that if it comes it will not do much," Brown said.
Further, Brown said the community is seeking help to complete the clearing of sand on the edge of the streets in order to create a run-off from the roads.
In addition, she said preparations were slow, as the income of most individuals had been affected.
"We have no money to stock up. Red Cross and Food For the Poor are the real 'God-bless' people. They gave us so much. We wouldn't mind getting some help, but we appreciate them," Brown added.
Meanwhile, Gordon Town and Mavis Bank residents were seen getting their supplies of water, kerosene, and gas in preparation for the possible storm.
Caswell McLean, a resident of Mavis Bank, shared that he had purchased kerosene oil, gas, tin items and other food supplies to serve him for at least two weeks. He said he had also battened down his house, checked his roof for leaks and secured his yard.
"Right now I am just sitting back, relax and see what's going on. See just how 'billias' [crazy] it's going to be," McLean said.
Shawn Cuff, a resident of Mount Industry, said she had already sorted out her house, secured food and was on her way home to batten downher property.
Raymond Brown and his wife Hazel said while they had not started fully preparing, the plan was to buy a few items such as kerosene, batteries, gas and food. The Browns said they also intended to check for leaks, batten down and plug a few nail holes.
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