JIS News

Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Desmond McKenzie has said that the projected cost to clear and rehabilitate total damage caused by Hurricane Wilma in Kingston and St Andrew stands at $871.6 million.
Speaking at a meeting to discuss the effects of Hurricane Wilma on the corporate Area and a report of the Council’s task force findings at the Kingston and St Andrew (KSAC) Offices in Kingston, on Thursday (October 27) Mayor McKenzie informed that the municipality had “serious problems”.
“Ninety-nine per cent of the gullies and drains are damaged and another 48 per cent of the road network is damaged,” the Mayor explained.
He informed that the projected budget was needed to repair and clean blocked roadways, damaged roadways, landslides, blocked drains, and gullies as well as collapsed retaining walls and damaged gully inverts.
He also pointed out that large sections of West and East St. Andrew had suffered extensive damages due to the heavy rains wrought by rains associated with the Hurricane.
In breaking down the costs for the necessary repair and rehabilitation of these roads and gullies Mayor McKenzie outlined that some $732.7 million would be needed to repair and clear more than 500 roads, while $138.9 million would be required to clean 85 drains and 15 gullies.
In respect to the acquisition of the requisite funds to affect these repairs Mayor McKenzie explained, “This is out of the reach of the KSAC, this needs the intervention of central government, we will be doing what we can but we need more assistance”.
In addition to the damaged roads, gullies and drains in the corporate area, Councillor McKenzie further outlined that 89 roads in East and West Rural St Andrew have been blocked by land slippages limiting the movement of vehicular traffic and pedestrians. However he added, “Approximately 55 of these roads are cleared for single lane or complete access to vehicles and pedestrians. The others will be cleared very soon”.
The Mayor also informed that nine roads in the corporate area, which had been patched by the KSAC within the past four months, had also been damaged but the same contractors who had executed the initial repairs would do new repairs. Work was scheduled for commencement on October 27, weather permitting.