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JIS News

While Portland and sections of neighbouring parishes were battered by strong winds and heavy rains caused by Hurricane Dennis on July 7, residents of the western parishes of Westmoreland, Hanover and St. James are breathing sighs of relief, having escaped the devastation many were dreading.
Except for the usual heavy showers and moderate winds, these parishes escaped much of the effects of the hurricane and are again grateful to mother nature.
What therefore were the levels of preparedness of these parishes? When JIS News spoke with St. James resident, Colin Maxwell he said, “with the level of drain-cleaning that I noticed in and around the parish, I believe that the area was very prepared for the hurricane. I am not sure if anybody else had taken it very seriously but after Hurricane Ivan, St. James people are going to be prepared for every hurricane”.
He added, “the people in my community all gathered around and helped each other to prepare for the hurricane by putting blocks on zinc roofs of houses, battening down windows. In the community there is a lot of unity. Overall I think that we all are realising now that we all have to unite one way or the other, either through disaster or just doing it naturally, so my community, we are united normally so when disaster set in there is no change”.
Westmoreland resident, Fitzroy Callam said in his interview, “coming out of Hurricane Ivan and the seriousness of that disaster, the people of Westmoreland were much more cautious, more informed and so the necessary preparations were done. I believe that the people and the parish were much more prepared this time than any other times”.
“There were visible evidence of preparedness as the homemakers could be seen battening down their windows and for the farmers, they were busy moving their animals from low lying places, and those who cultivated bananas made braces and other provisions for securing them against the expected winds,” he stated, adding, “those who had to cut trenches to minimise flooding in their homes and on their farms, did so in advance, and overall I think the parish was really prepared and ready for Hurricane Dennis”.
Meanwhile, Denise Shaw of Hanover told JIS News, “we in the parish of Hanover have fared well after Hurricane Dennis, so I guess preparations were up to scratch. A lot of people of the parish were looking forward to it, but from what I had seen people were generally prepared as there was not the usual hesitation, they were gearing up for it as they could be seen doing the battening up of windows and doors and business people were securing their signs and sections of their business places. The parish was basically ready for the hurricane”.