JIS News

The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) will continue normal service until 8:00 p.m. tonight, and has placed a number of its buses on standby to assist in the evacuation of persons from areas threatened by the effects of Hurricane Emily.
Speaking with JIS News, Gwyneth Harold, JUTC’s Marketing and Public Relations Manager, informed that the company would assist in the evacuation of areas that are especially prone to storm surges from the sea and also flooding from the Rio Cobre in the Kingston/Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR).
Persons living in these areas must therefore listen keenly for departure times.
“We are on standby to start evacuations after 2:00 p.m. and persons who are in those flood-prone areas should be listening to the media, should listen for town-criers in their areas and should be in close contact with liaison personnel from the local disaster committees,” she said.
Low lying areas of Portmore, such as Port Henderson, will be affected by the category four hurricane and so the JUTC would be evacuating persons from that area.
“We will also be assisting persons farther out in St. Catherine in the Old Harbour Bay and Nightingale Grove areas. The Rio Cobre is expected to affect the low-lying Rivoli and Thompson Pen areas of Spanish Town. In the eastern side of the city, we expect that we will be assisting Caribbean Terrace, the eastern end of Harbour View, Bull Bay and also Port Royal,” Miss Harold told JIS News.
Members of the public utilising the JUTC’s evacuation service are advised to adequately prepare well in advance of the pick up time.
Miss Harold is encouraging members of the public to co-operate, as “the JUTC is not a rescue service and we will not be able to go in, if there is a rescue emergency at hand”.
“We will be going in long before there is any threat of flooding as we will not be able to rescue persons. Persons in these flood prone areas should really prepare to leave their homes long before the rains start,” she advised.
The Public Relations Manager advised that persons, who would be evacuated, secure their household appliances and other valuables as much as possible before leaving their homes, as they would not be able to take everything with them on the buses.
“We will be seeking to secure, first and foremost, life…these persons should take all the essential items that they will need. Persons, especially those with small children should take clothing and enough food to last for one or two nights. They will also need bedding material to lie on in the shelters in case there isn’t enough bedding material,” she emphasised.