Floods Twice In One Week
It was a case of deja vu for several communitiies in Trelawny, especially those in the eastern and central sections of the parish. Once again (twice in a week), flood waters have devastated several communities.
Wakefield, Mahagony Hall, Duanvale, Rio Bueno, Clarks Town were among the affected areas. Not in that list is the hardest hit areas this time around, which are Jackson Town, Barnstaple and Stewart Town.
Barnstaple, near Jackson Town is having a really bad “flood season.” A little before the middle of December last year, floods hit the area, with one resident claiming about 2 feet of water in her house. Last week Wednesday, it was worse. She said this time water came up to her navel. On Sunday, she said she bed, mattress, dresser were all wet.
It was in this same community of Barnstaple that 60-year old Elizabeth Thompson, also known as “Tully” drowned last week.
On Monday, the post office and the Inland Revenue office in Jackson Town were closed as a result of the flood threat.
In Wakefield, the Wakefield Primary had to close due to rising waters in the flood-prone main road.
In Clark’s Town, the Clark’s Town to Duncans road has once again been blocked at Long Pond.
Bottom Town (Clark’s Town) water once again settled in yards and on the roadways.
In Cockburn Pen, approximately 400 people were marooned by the rising flood waters.
Residents in some of the affected areas complained to the Jamaica Observer that the undisciplined among them contributed to the flooding because of the improper dumping of solid waste into sink holes that usually take water off the road.
Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament, Victor Wright is bearing the brunt of the burden caused by the floods. It is he to whom thousands of residents turn to for help, answers and hope.
He said there is so much he can do from his Constituency Development Fund and no more. He said he is hampered by the lack of response from government agencies. Speaking with the Jamaica Observer, he said:
“A significant part of issue as Member of Parliament is the lack of response from the NWA and other agencies. I have made appeals, I have sent emails, made phone calls, and I am so disappointed with the response I am getting. I am appealing for assistance for these residents to get them out of their dilemma. I can do so much and no more from my Constituency Development Fund. It is really the government agencies who need to provide the relief that these residents need,” said the Trelawny MP.
It was estimated that last week’s flood damage was $64 million. This week has added to that total and any more rains will just make things get progressively worse for the parish.
The Mayor said that the flooding was caused by blocked drainage. It is imperative that funding be found clear these drainage systems to prevent more loss of property and life.