Thu | Oct 19, 2017

Garbage at the root of Fairview flooding, says MoBay mayor

Published:Thursday | August 4, 2016 | 12:00 AM
The main drain at the Fairview complex in Montego Bay, St James, covered with garbage in the aftermath of flooding caused by rains associated with Tropical Storm Earl on Tuesday.

WESTERN BUREAU:

Mayor of Montego Bay Glendon Harris has attributed the flooding that occurred at the Fairview Shopping Centre in the St James capital on Tuesday to improper garbage disposal, which led to the complex's drains being clogged.

"The grating that the water was supposed to go down was clogged," Harris said.

"It is because they handled their garbage so badly that when the water washed down, the plastic bags and the bottles prevented the water from going down in the manhole that leads the water to the Pye River Cemetery (located across from Fairview)," Harris added, providing a photograph of the affected water grating to support his statement.

"If you see the picture, you will see exactly what caused the flooding."

Sections of Montego Bay were affected by floodwaters during the passage of a tropical wave earlier this week.

At the Fairview complex, one motor vehicle was submerged, though the waters later subsided.

Janelle Ricketts, community relations officer for the National Works Agency (NWA), and Tamoy Sinclair, disaster coordinator for St James, both said the issue of flooding at the Fairview plaza would have to be addressed by the complex's operators as it is privately owned property.

"Over that section is not within our purview as it is a commercial development," said Ricketts.

"There are drainage issues - not from the main road itself, but from issues within that area. In terms of dealing with it, it would be the owners ... . Whoever operates that section, they would have to deal with it. None of the issues were as a result of storm waters from the roadway as we have sufficient drains along that section."

Sinclair said: "There is going to have to be some form of communication between the NWA, the local authority, and the owners of that property to see what can best be done to alleviate the problem. It is something that we need to examine a bit deeper to see how we can curtail the problem altogether. Some amount of dialogue will be done in the near future between the local authority and the owners."