Thu | Oct 22, 2020

Stranded at riverside, residents appeal for help

Published:Tuesday | August 25, 2020 | 12:17 AMShanna Monteith/Gleaner Writer

Residents of several communities in St Thomas, including Georgia, Font Hill, and Trinityville, are crying for help as the main road leading to their homes was compromised by flood waters from the Dry River, which has been in spate since Monday.

Months earlier, community members had lamented the condition of the Coley Bridge, which they said had been badly damaged by large rocks and river currents.

A triple-cell box culvert was being built as a part of preliminary works under the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project.

However, heavy rains that began on Sunday wrought damage to the works, including the detour.

Stephen Shaw, communications manager of the National Works Agency, said that while remedial work to restore the detour pathway will be carried out until the new bridge is ready, the contractors will also be on standby should there be a repeat of the problem.

Several residents who were marooned on either side of the structure on Monday morning shared that they had been stuck for several hours and were forced to sleep in their vehicles overnight. One of those persons was Surrano Warren, who lives in Georgia.

The residents blame their misfortune on the parties in charge of building the bridge.

One marooned resident also questioned the bridge’s design.

“Fifty-two years now mi know the place, and when the river come down, it root up tree, so this nuh ready yet,” said Icilda Hall.

“This is the main road to Cedar valley, the road to Morant Bay, the road to Kingston … our main road. We have no other way out. We need help.”