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Prospect residents fearful about flooding, crocodiles as St Thomas braces for #HurricaneMatthew

Published:Monday | October 3, 2016 | 10:47 AM
Deloris Grant and Leslie Bartley in St Thomas are worried about the expected flooding that will happen as a result of the impending Hurricane Matthew.

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

MORANT BAY, St Thomas:
Some residents living on the banks of a gully on Arnold Road off the Prospect main road in St Thomas are worried about the expected flooding that will happen as a result of the impending Hurricane Matthew, but the likely displacement of crocodiles in a nearby mangrove is causing even more anxiety.

"Every time you have weather like this and flooding, dem come from the mangrove," said Leslie Bartley, 56, pointing a gully that channels water to the sea.

To make matters worse, Bartley said the gully was not cleaned before the storm.

"It's a lady weh live near it bush fi har section," said another resident, Deloris Grant.

Grant, 51, added that usually when it rains heavily, she and others who live on the gully bank move to higher ground or a shelter.

But she said for Hurricane Matthew, she will not be going to a shelter, pointing to a house on a hill where she is staying, but said she is still at risk because of the crocodiles.

Two other residents joined the discussion with a late appeal to the authorities to de-bush the gully.

The National Environment and Planning Agency has warned residents to look for stray crocodiles that could be displaced from their habitat due to flooding.

Meanwhile, despite the appeal by the authorities, some of the residents of the flood-prone area insisted that they were not going to the shelters.

Follow The Gleaner’s coverage of Hurricane Matthew on Twitter @JamaicaGleaner #MappingMATTHEW, at www.jamaica-gleaner.com‎‎ and listen to Power 106FM.