Thu | Mar 22, 2018

Portland Ravaged, persons evacuated

Published:Friday | November 18, 2016 | 12:00 AMGareth Davis
Residents taking children across the flooded street in Spring Garden, Buff Bay.

Buff Bay, Portland:

Five children and 12 adults were evacuated by firefighters on a day when torrential rain lashed sections of western Portland, also triggering rescue efforts at a basic school in Settlement in Orange Bay.

The unfavourable weather conditions, which started shortly after 1 p.m. yesterday, inundated several homes in the Spring Garden area of Buff Bay, resulting in rescue efforts being carried out by the fire department, which had responded minutes before to a distress call from a kindergarten facility.

"This is unbelievable, but catastrophic," commented Daryl Vaz, government minister and member of parliament for West Portland.

"Just last month, the homes of several residents in this area were inundated. This time, the fire department had to be called in to evacuate 17 persons, including children, who are now staying at a disaster shelter. It, therefore, means that assistance will have to be provided to those affected in the shortest possible time, bearing in mind also that children and the elderly are involved," he added.

Vaz had earlier visited the lone raft-stand at Berrydale in the Rio Grande Valley with a team from the Tourism Product Development Company - handing out cheques to 68 rafts men, who had been ravaged more than three weeks ago when the Rio Grande overflowed its banks and washed away their rafting vessels.

Meanwhile, classes have been suspended for today at Orange Bay Basic School, where 25 children and teachers were rescued by firefighters after they were marooned, and a section of the roadway at Spring Garden is now able to accommodate single-lane traffic only, following a landslide yesterday. Additionally, a section of the Hope Bay main road in the vicinity of Summerset Falls is inundated and is heavily littered by debris.

In east Portland, a section of the roadway at Fellowship is impassable as a nearby river has overflowed its banks, dumping bucket loads of water on to the roadway.