Minister Mckenzie Urges Portlanders to Stay Alert

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie (centre), fields questions at a town hall meeting held on Wednesday (Nov. 22) at the Errol Flynn Marina in Portland. At right is Chairman of the Portland Municipal Corporation, Mayor Paul Thomas.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, is appealing to residents of Portland to be prepared for disasters and to be ready to move to higher ground in case of rising waters.
  •  “This parish has been experiencing severe rainfall since the start of the year, some serious rains. It is expected that we are going to have continuous rains right through until January.  It is therefore in your interest to be on the alert,” he said.
  •  “We’re going to be providing some funds to the municipal corporation to have further community meetings in communities where there are constant problems when it rains.  We want you, the residents of Portland, to be fully aware of what the requirements are,” he added.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, is appealing to residents of Portland to be prepared for disasters and to be ready to move to higher ground in case of rising waters.

Speaking at a town hall meeting at the Errol Flynn Marina on Wednesday (Nov. 22), the Minister said that while the country has not been hit by a hurricane, the heavy and continuous rainfall affecting the island is having a severe impact on infrastructure and personal property.

“This parish has been experiencing severe rainfall since the start of the year, some serious rains. It is expected that we are going to have continuous rains right through until January.  It is therefore in your interest to be on the alert,” he said.

“So, when the Meteorological Service (of Jamaica) says within the next 48 hours (your community) is going to be affected, don’t sneer at the warning. We want you to move to higher ground. It is easier to replace the property but impossible to replace lives,” he noted.

He said that failure to adhere to the warnings puts first responders at risk during rescue operations.

“We’re going to be providing some funds to the municipal corporation to have further community meetings in communities where there are constant problems when it rains.  We want you, the residents of Portland, to be fully aware of what the requirements are,” he added.

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