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JIS News

Five of the National Water Commission (NWC) plants in St. Elizabeth were damaged by flood waters last week-end, as a result of Hurricane Emily.These include the Hounslow, Siloah, Little Park and Benlomonds plants and the New Forrest pumping station.
Water is being trucked to residents in the affected areas, working with the Rapid Response Unit in the Ministry of Water and Housing, Community Relations Manager for the Western Division of the NWC, Lisa Golding told JIS News.
She said that the Hounslow plant was still inaccessible for an assessment to be done. “When the area was checked yesterday (July 18), the entire plant was submerged in water,” she noted. Mrs. Golding pointed out that the Siloah plant was still having serious turbidity problems, due to inflows of muddy water and silt, which made it difficult to restore the plant at this time.
“The Little Park plant, which has also suffered serious damage, is currently being worked on, as its electrical equipment has been removed for repairs, due to flooding,” she said. The electrical equipment should be repaired by July 22.
The Community Relations Manager also noted that large sections of the pipelines along the Little Park main road were washed away as extensive damage was done to the road by the heavy rains.
“Significant reconstruction has to be done to the roads and the NWC will have to work with the National Works Agency (NWA) to carry out repairs,” she said. Mrs. Golding said the entire New Forrest station was flooded, the Jamaica Public Service poles and transformers were down, and the switch gear has been damaged. She added that repairs would take some time. She pointed that the Benlomonds plant would be brought back into operation very soon.
“It will require a lot more than just fixing pumps to restore water supplies to the worst affected areas in St. Elizabeth,” Mrs. Golding said.
Over in Manchester, the sole plant in Moravia which received minor damage, should be restored today, she pointed out.
The five damaged plants in St. Elizabeth currently serve over 38,400 customers in the parish.