Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Flashlights but no batteries for Portland shelters

Published:Monday | October 3, 2016 | 10:16 PM
The sun peeps through dark skies in White Horses, St Thomas has hurricane Matthew approached Jamaica on Monday - Rudolph Brown photo

Flashlights donated by at least one corporate entity have been rendered useless as shelter operators in Portland do not have batteries for them.

Boxes of the LED lights sit at the Emergency Operation Centre at the Port Antonio Fire Station, with authorities unable to distribute them to some 89 shelters.

"We have been distributing other flashlights, blankets, and in some cases water bottles,” said Fay Neufville, manager at the Emergency Operation Centre.

Meanwhile, Geneva Pinnock, shelter manager at the Port Antonio High School said residents are worried that they may be vulnerable to floods as the school.

The auditorium in which they are being house is also without doors.

"If the water comes in hard we cannot stay down here because we have no doors. It is just the grille that would be closing us in," she said.

Pinnock said she expects that more residents to start filing in as the rains start and so more cots and and blankets may be needed.

Some 467 residents are reportedly in shelters in Portland, most of them in Manchioneal, with more than 80 persons.