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'Mi glad it nuh come' - St Thomas residents happy Jamaica spared Matthew's wrath

Published:Tuesday | October 4, 2016 | 12:04 PM

 Jovan Johnson, Staff Reporter

"Mi glad it nuh come," Desmond Cummings, said Tuesday morning at a Morant Bay bus stop, ready to resume his daily commute to Kingston where he works, mere hours after authorities said Jamaica was spared the worst of Hurricane Matthew.

His words echoed the sentiments of many of the parish’s residents who shouted their joy as The Gleaner drove past them.

"The farmer better because him save a lot a crops. If it (Matthew) did come, dem (crops) woulda done long time," Cummings, 62, added.

Meanwhile, up to early Tuesday, 1,394 people were in shelters having heeded warnings to leave their vulnerable homes along coastal areas.

But as the sun tried to burst dark clouds and even before the local parish disaster officials gave the all clear, they started leaving the shelters – some glad to resume their independent lives.

"Mi glad fi guh home," one woman shouted to The Gleaner, as she made her way from the Morant Bay Primary shelter, declining to give her name.

Errol Mowatt, a centenarian, said he was pleased with the treatment at the school where he also sheltered,

"Dem treat mi good," he said, on his way to his Duhaney Pen home.

IN PHOTO: Centenarian Errol Mowatt makes his way home in Morant Bay, St Thomas.

On Sunday, The Gleaner reported that he was among eight people at the shelter without basic supplies, prompting the authorities into action.

Temporary assistant parish disaster coordinator, Royon Thompson, said the general response efforts were "okay" although there were the odd complaints.

"Some people were complaining about lack of food. We made sure people had lamps, tarpaulin, cots, mats, mattresses, blankets and water containers. Some just wanted things the way they would at home," he said.

Many of the fears of possible flooding in areas like Audley or Seaforth were not realised.

In Seaforth, however, power lines fell down close to the local high school.  It was a similar story on Wilmington where a light post tumbled over, according to Thompson.

Sections of the main road through Poorman's Corner were flooded forcing motorists to create alternative routes.

The National Works Agency had to rush to clear boulders off the Roselle main road deposited from sea surge.

"Extreme caution," motorists have been advised.

"Things are getting back to normal," Secretary Manager, Errol Greene, told journalists. "I'm just urging people to be careful".

Storm surges are still expected along with heavy rains caused by the outer bands of the hurricane, which has made landfall in Haiti, the first storm to do so in 50 years.