Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Small vehicle access only into Rio Grande Valley - NWA

Published:Sunday | November 6, 2016 | 11:02 PM

The National Works Agency (NWA) says much of the debris from landslides that had cut off road access to the community of Bellevue in Portland's Rio Grande Valley has been cleared.

In a post from its Twitter account this morning, the NWA said the roadway should be reopened to small vehicles today.

Residents had been trapped in the farming community for more than  a week after six days of heavy rains caused landslides that blocked roads leading to the community. Many had been forced to walk through mud and water across the slippery hilly terrain to get food and water.   

Food, drinking water along with emergency supplies were airlifted to the more than 300 residents on the weekend by the Jamaica Defence Force. 

The rains destroyed crops, and livestock in many communities in the Rio Grande Valley, including Berrydale, Ginger House, Comfort Castle, Millbank, Cornwall Barracks, Kent, Windsor, and Seaman's Valley.

The parish's only remaining raft stand in Berrydale was also destroyed when the Rio Grande overflowed its banks, taking along with it more than 100 rafts. Rio Grande rafting is Portland's premier tourist attraction and the oldest in Jamaica.