JIS News

State Minister in the Ministry of Transport and Works, Dr. Fenton Ferguson has informed that some 57 roads have been blocked or flooded as a result of the torrential rains that have been lashing the island in recent weeks.
According to Minister Ferguson, the country’s road network was worst affected in the parishes of St. Thomas, St. Andrew, St. Catherine, and Clarendon, while problems were also being experienced in St. Elizabeth and Hanover.
“The picture we have had so far is that there are about 57 roads either blocked or flooded but in a significant way, [there has been] inundation right across those parishes,” the State Minister disclosed. His comments came yesterday (Oct. 18) at an emergency meeting of the National Disaster Committee which was held at Jamaica House.
Mr. Ferguson said the Bog Walk Gorge was impassable due to flooding, as was the alternative route through Barry Road. Sligoville is being used as the alternate road.
The State Minister pointed out that in the case of St. Thomas, the eastern approach to the parish had been “washed out again.we have been making attempts to re-channel the water to the western abutment area since Sunday(Oct. 16).”
In the meantime, he said the area of greatest concern in St. Andrew was in the Windsor Lodge/Taylor Lands vicinity, where the National Works Agency (NWA) had corrected a breach that was affecting the area on October 16, but the overflow of water returned by the following day due to the continuous downpour.
“It is really a challenge in some of the areas,” he explained, “even as we have equipment at work, we have to be taking into consideration, the safety of operators even as we try to correct the situation,” he said.
He advised that the NWA’s emergency operation centres were currently open. The telephone numbers are 926-5831, 383-1743, and 383-1744.
The State Minister gave the assurance that the NWA’s parish officers were on alert and visiting areas to ascertain the levels of damage.
Also speaking on the damage to the island’s road network, Chief Executive Officer of the NWA, Ivan Anderson revealed that in the western section of the country, “between Whitney Turn and Clarendon Park, just by where the Milk River runs close to the road, the river has overflowed its bank and is on the road now.” Consequently, the road from Mandeville to Four Paths has been flooded and is impassable. Mr. Anderson said similarly, the road from Sandy Bay to Old Harbour in the vicinity of Free Town was also flooded. Highlighting other areas that have been affected, the CEO revealed that land slippages had temporarily blocked access to the communities in ruralSt. Andrew including Mavis Bank, Guava Ridge, and Newcastle. Sections of the carriageways along the Mandela Highway and the Causeway have also been flooded.

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