Mon | Sep 25, 2017

WHEW! - Clarendon residents welcome news of storm passage

Published:Wednesday | August 3, 2016 | 8:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Shelter manager Jacqueline Gordon.
Pedestrians resorted to using the adjacent trench walls to travel along the Rocky Point main road in Clarendon.
A man and child carefully negotiate the Rocky Point main road in Clarendon yesterday.
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Jacqueline Gordon, shelter manager for the Alley community in Clarendon, could hardly sleep on Monday as news circulated of possible dangers associated with Tropical Storm Earl.

That burden was, however, lifted when she heard that the system moved away from the island early yesterday morning, even as she lost two sheets of zinc from winds that the community experienced.

Gordon said she was grateful, as things could have been worse.

"I am really happy, and thank God that it has passed. Hopefully, things can go back to normal. We have to go tek down and pull up, but it's a relief," she declared.

In commenting on the impact the rains had on the community, she said there was no major damage done.

"We had more wind than rain last night (Tuesday morning). We got some serious breeze. God blessed us, though, and we are able to smile at the storm. So far, no one is showing signs that serious damage was done," she told The Gleaner.

"Some houses are still recovering from Ivan [2004 hurricane], so we were in no position to tek another storm. People are also fearful to go to the shelters because persons will steal their stuff. We are happy," she said.

Speaking with The Gleaner from the inside of her 10-room board house, Sharon Kelly, another resident of the community, was also very worried about the possible impacts had the country experienced the full brunt of the tropical storm.

"We nuh stock up on anything because is a surprise. By the time mi reach a church last night (Monday night), mi hear that a storm is out. I was so frighten. It could have been worse, so right now, we just trying to hold the faith and hope for the best," said Kelly.

"When Ivan and Dean [past hurricanes] did come, all the top (house) go off. Another thing is dat when the zinc blow off, some people steal dem and make goat pen while you nuh have anywhere to live," she lamented.

"The rain was falling earlier in the day, but I thought it was normal August rain. We still happy that we get a little ease," she said.

Over in Rocky Point, Arthur Coleman, president of the community's benevolent society, was similarly grateful, indicating that he would be doing what could be done to ensure that better preparation methods are implemented in the future.

"The MP (member of parliament Rudyard Spencer) is currently working on upgrading the field so that the water can run off easily when people drive in. No one called us for shelter, and, overall, we are not in any immediate danger," he told The Gleaner.

"The thing with Rocky Point people is that they wait 'til the last minute to get things done; worse, the rain has been on and off. We are holding on, though," he said.

The Meteorological Service yesterday urged citizens not to become complacent as Tropical Storm Earl continued to produce pockets of rainfall.

Earl is the fifth tropical storm of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season.

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com