Sat | Oct 19, 2019

Rains flood businesses on Spanish Town Road

Published:Thursday | October 10, 2019 | 12:23 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer

Businesses along Riverton Boulevard on Spanish Town Road were flooded yesterday afternoon and operations halted.

Christopher Nakash, chief executive officer of Nakash Construction, said the flooding began about 3:30 p.m.

“The river can’t handle the flow that’s coming in. There is a far greater volume of water being delivered to the river in a far shorter time period and this is the result. I have about four to six inches of water in my office,” Nakash told The Gleaner.

He said he instructed his staff to seal the doors with waste cloth and to stack sandbags behind the doors, but their efforts proved futile.

“Because the river was rising over the banks, what happened was the water started coming up through the tiles and there was nothing we could do to stop it,” Nakash said.

The owner of the construction business said the extent of the damage had not yet been determined, but the last time they had such an occurrence was more than 20 years ago.

Another business operator has blamed the recent work done on the Mandela Highway for the flooding.

Keson Ferguson, operations manager at Alex Imports, said before the road-improvement project began, he wrote the National Works Agency (NWA), explaining that the plans may not be ideal because of the history of the Duhaney River.

He added that $40 million was spent to raise the surface and deepen the gutters on the property as a precaution when the NWA and its contractors went ahead with the project.

“We had to stop all operations today when di rain start fall. Every company on the property had to stop because of flooding out by 284 Spanish Town Road. Dem channel all di water come over di Spanish Town Road side and put in some new culverts, but it’s either the river is blocked upstream or they didn’t do any form of river training,” Ferguson lamented.

He said the rain only lasted for about an hour but produced flood waters that were about two feet high.

“A tractor did haffi tek di people dem out a di offices fi dem go home. Goods damage. People gone home leave dem motor vehicle and make other people carry dem home. It terrible.”

Stresscon and Exotic Stone Creations were two of the other businesses affected.

judana.murphy@gleanerjm.com