JIS News

With sections of the island experiencing heavy rainfall recently, resulting in flood damage to roadways, houses and farms, the parish of Westmoreland is on full alert.

According to Disaster Preparedness Co-ordinator for the parish, Rev. Hilma Tate, all shelters have been inspected and certified, and relief supplies secured and stockpiled for any eventuality.

"In spite of the rainfall (experienced in the parish of Westmoreland) over the past couple of days, there was no report of any significant impact on the parish. The inspection of emergency shelters has been completed, and the team is ready to conduct investigations and, wherever possible, assist those in need," Rev. Tate told JIS News.

She informed that the parish's drain cleaning programme is currently underway, with the main drains in the towns of Savanna-la-Mar and Petersfield cleaned over the past weeks.

"To mitigate against flooding, a number of critical drains were cleaned and as a result of that, the parish of Westmoreland is now ready and prepared, should we have extended rains and flooding," she pointed out.                                                                                         

The Co-ordinator is advising citizens to be on the alert during heavy rain- fall, and whenever they recognise that the areas they occupy are fully saturated, they should evacuate immediately.

"I would advise that residents, especially those in flood-prone areas, begin to evacuate before the water reaches a certain level and go to a shelter or family member or friend and remain there until the water recedes. Those who are very close to the hillsides or hilly areas where landslides occur, be on the look-out and act quickly. Wherever flooding is taking place, do not attempt to cross over," Rev. Tate urged.