Sat | Dec 15, 2018

Marooned residents could reconnect today

Published:Monday | January 15, 2018 | 12:00 AMGareth Davis Sr/Gleaner Writer
A large trench dug by the heavy-duty equipment to drain water away from Matty Hole in west Portland.
Heavy-duty equipment digging away at Matty Hole in West Portland.

DARLEY, Portland:

Marooned for seven days because of the mysterious appearance of a large body of water, residents of Darley and Maidstone in west Portland could have road access later today.

On Saturday, private contractors, with the aid of heavy-duty equipment, started the challenging process of digging trenches to drain the water away from an area known as Matty Hole, which covers more than two acres of farmlands and also the road access route.

"Residents should have full access in another 24 hours," Member of Parliament (MP) Daryl Vaz told The Gleaner on Saturday.

He added: "It is rather frustrating for residents living at Darley, Bourbon, Maidstone, and Durham, who have been shut in from Sunday, January 7. Water levels have risen up to 15 feet in some areas, and they (residents) have endured a nightmare experience, which have affected not only their livelihood, but it has disrupted their day-to-day activity."

According to Vaz, an assessment is to be done by engineers from the National Works Agency (NWA) as soon as the water is removed from Matty Hole, and to provide solutions to correct the problem in that area.

"I must express thanks to Tank-Weld distributors for providing assistance in transporting the heavy-duty equipment. Appreciation is also extended to Diving and Salvaging, along with Vinci Construction Company for their timely and well-needed assistance. The entire parish was hard-hit by three days of heavy rainfall, which has severely damaged the road network, " Vaz further said.

Meanwhile, residents have revealed that the last time Matty Hole, which got its name after a woman known as Matty drowned at that spot about 50 years ago, experienced flooding, as a result of rising waters was in 1997 during almost one week of heavy downpour.