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JIS News

The National Works Agency (NWA) is working feverishly to restore access to all thoroughfares on the road network that have been affected by the heavy rainfall associated with Hurricane Wilma.
Petra-kene Williams, NWA’s Acting Communications and Customer Relations Manager told JIS News that the agency has already received 80 reports of flooded or blocked roads and the agency was working with several private contractors to restore free access along these thoroughfares.
“About one-third of the reports relate to areas that have been flooded, particularly in the parish of Clarendon,” she noted.
“The Freetown to Four Paths, as well as Free Town to Sandy Bay road is also flooded, so persons will not be able to go through those corridors. There are some other areas like Mocho to Frankfield and Smithville to Thompson Town.these are blocked. Also Windsor to Corn Hill, Grantham to Trout Hall and we have mobilised equipment to begin clearing operations there,” she added.
The May Pen to Soursop Turn main road has also been flooded and only single-lane traffic is able to go through at this time.
In St. Thomas, the Yallahs Ford is impassable and the corridor leading to Cedar Valley is also blocked.
“We were able to open the Bath to Bath Fountain main road and on the Pleasant Hill to Hector’s River main road, which is located on the eastern end of St. Thomas and actually links Portland to St. Thomas, there is some damage to the road surface,” Miss Williams informed JIS News.
The Bog Walk Gorge, as well as the alternative road through Barry in St. Catherine remain closed to vehicular traffic, as they are still flooded.
“There are some minor landslips along the Sligoville main road. However, motorists should be able to go through there,” Miss Williams said.
In Manchester and St. Elizabeth, the main areas that have been affected are on the southern end of these parishes. In Manchester the Alligator Pond to Gut River area, as well as Downs, Lititz and surrounding areas are severely affected.
“In St. Elizabeth, the main areas that are flooded are Treasure Beach and the Pedro Cross corridor leading into Black River. The water on the road surface is not very high, but motorists really need to proceed with caution along these corridors,” she cautioned.
Miss Williams also noted the challenges currently being faced by the NWA, as the inclement weather is undoing some of the completed work.
“Over in St. Andrew the Gordon Town road, which we had been successful in cleaning last night, is again blocked, as well as the Irish Town road, so we have equipment on site trying to clear those landslips,” she said.
Meanwhile, the NWA is urging the motoring public to exercise extreme caution and obey the instructions of posted warning and other road signs along the nation’s roadways.
“We appeal to the public to exercise caution along all roadways because rains have been falling for a substantial period and there is a lot of water on the roadways. Also, there will be damage to the road surface that you are not able to see immediately,” said Miss Williams.
Persons who wish to report blocked or flooded roads can call the National Works Agency Emergency Operations Centre at 926 5831; 383 1743; or383 1744.