Homes and fire station flooded in St Elizabeth

JUNCTION, St Elizabeth – Heavy and persistent rains between Wednesday and Thursday resulted in several homes being inundated as residents in southern St Elizabeth communities were left with flood damage.

“Weh yuh see happen yah a nuh the first. A weh we experience about four times now and there is nothing at all that can be done right now until water dries up and then we clean back up,” said a resident of Dunkin district in Bull Savannah.

Councillor Layton Smith (People’s National Party, Myersville Division) told the Jamaica Observer that in the neighbouring Junction Division at least two communities were affected by flooding.

“Comma Pen and Bull Savannah mash up with flooding. The flooding in Comma Pen is because of the construction works being done on the road. About 10 families in Bull Savannah were flood out totally and some in Ballards Valley,” he said.

Firefighters at the Junction Fire Station had to move the facility’s fire truck from the garage of the station due to flooding there.

When contacted for an update on relief efforts to assist affected families, Mayor of Black River Derrick Sangster said he was awaiting details.

“I understand that there was some amount of flooding in the southern section, but we have not gotten any official report as yet… I don’t think we have reached any proportion yet of a disaster, but the rains are impacting communities quite heavily, especially on the south side,” he said.

When asked about preparations for the Atlantic hurricane season, Sangster said, “Preparations are up to scratch. The shelters have been examined, passed, and the shelter managers are in place. The respective agencies had meetings some time ago and everybody is on the ready to connect with equipment operators in the case of an emergency. Basically, we are up to speed,” said Sangster.

“We have the equipment for the shelter managers in stock in case of any eventuality,” he added.

“Land slippage is normally in the northern side of the parish. We have several flood-prone areas like Middle Quarters, Parrottee, Vineyard, and Braes River. On the southern side, flooding does take place, in terms of water running and creating some amount of damage,” he said.

When asked if there is any concern about flooding in New Market, Sangster was hopeful that the Two Sister ponds wouldn’t merge.

“I’m not sure if the level of rainfall so far has been sufficient to trigger that scenario compared to the occasions that has happened in the past, and this time I am not sure… No evidence has shown itself yet, in terms of that happening, so at the moment it is not something on our radar,” he said.