Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Government acts to reduce flooding impact

Published:Saturday | October 1, 2016 | 10:00 AMChristopher Serju
Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie talks about the work taking place along Marcus Garvey Drive in St Andrew yesterday.

The local government ministry was yesterday taking concrete steps to ensure that any flooding along Marcus Garvey Drive in St Andrew would be minimised during the impending passage of Hurricane Matthew on Monday.

Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie was overseeing clean-up operations in the Tivoli Gully, where improvement works have been ongoing, when The Gleaner visited. China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) had doubled its workforce on the bridge which channels waste water into the sea as part of efforts to mitigate the potentially disastrous impact of the storm.

"We a try fi get the concrete up and running by tomorrow fi cast the bridge because, with the concrete now, we can release the iron bar (scaffolding) so the water can flow free. We double the staff and we a do 24-hour shift fi do it," Lolo, a Jamaican supervisor on the road rehabilitation project told The Gleaner.

He explained that the team doing the work had partially blocked the Tivoli Gully in order to reduce the water flow, which was necessary to facilitate establishment of the scaffolding network necessary to support the casting of the bridge.

McKenzie was overseeing the work as heavy-duty operators worked to clear the channel of garbage, a process he described as proactive.

"The challenge with the other day (when rains caused serious flooding in the area), it is not just because of the debris but the fact that the construction work was taking place and there was some dislocation. What we are doing now is to ensure that if and when the rains come, we are in a better position to control the flooding. So we are going to be having equipment that is going to be stationed here during the hurricane so that as anything happens, they will be able to respond," said McKenzie.