Sat | Mar 28, 2020

Jamaicans not all convinced about the danger of Matthew

Published:Sunday | October 2, 2016 | 12:00 AMAndrew Harris
Donna Linton stocks up to ensure her house does not run out of food if Matthew strikes.
Lloyd Shaw does not plan to leave his house in Port Royal so he is battening dowm in preparation for the hurricane.
Port Royal resident Marion Murray with the two flashlights she has purchased as part of her preparation for Hurricane Matthew.

While some Jamaicans remained adamant yesterday that the country would be spared the impact of the dangerous Hurricane Matthew, others were taking no chances, battening down and stocking up on provisions to deal with any eventuality.

There were warning signs on the Palisadoes main road headed to Port Royal as high tides dumped several inches of sand on the roadway.

Yesterday, workmen from the National Works Agency were out clearing the roadway and allowing the free flow of vehicles.

In Port Royal, the residents were in preparation mode from early morning, battening down windows, nailing down roofs and trimming loose or hanging limbs from trees.

Member of Parliament for the area, Phillip Paulwell, issued an urgent plea to residents to move into shelters as he warned that high waves and storm surges are expected from Hurricane Matthew.

Paulwell noted that high tides had already started to affect the area by the lighthouse, where severe flooding occurred last Friday evening, and noted that several vehicles had to be towed from the flooded roads by heavy-duty equipment coordinated by the Jamaica Defence Force.

"Port Royal is a low-lying community that has been spared ravages of previous storms," noted Paulwell, as he cautioned residents not to take Hurricane Matthew lightly.


Very serious


Port Royal resident Marion Murray, also known as 'Mary', was seen with her two flashlights when our news team visited the community.

She told The Sunday Gleaner that she was not taking this hurricane lightly.

"Yes, man, I take it very serious, because I live in Port Royal and I am afraid of the flooding which is very common, but in God we trust," said Murray.

Another resident of Port Royal, Mervin Tyndall, said he has been a victim of the flooding in the past, with all his household furniture damaged then.

While he had no intention to move to a shelter, Tyndall said this time around he has already moved his furniture from off the ground.

Across the island, supermarkets and groceries did brisk business yesterday as some persons stocked up on provisions.

But even as they prepared there were others who cited divine intervention, the blessings which seem to follow Jamaica, and the fact that the island has not been impacted by a hurricane for some time as reasons they were confident that Matthew would move by without a murmur.