Tue | Apr 23, 2019

Floodwaters down, resident's fury up in Redwood

Published:Sunday | May 28, 2017 | 12:00 AMErica Virtue
Residents of Sunnyside and Redwood in St Catherine, look at a section of the roadway that was washed away during the flood rain just under two weeks ago.
Member of Parliament for St Catherine North East, Leslie Campbell, said MPs could build the homes at half the price FFP was doing.
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Just over one week after heavy rains left Redwood and surrounding communities in St Catherine cut off from the rest of parish, the floodwaters may have subsided but the fury of the residents has not.

They are angry with their political representative for what they term neglect; furious over lack of employment opportunities and bad roads and livid for having no water, more than 30 years after pipes were laid.

Last week, when our news team returned to Redwood, the sugar cane debris still flanked the bridge which is behind a collapsed roadway, and which connects the community near the intersection leading to Guy's Hill.

According to the residents, it was poor river-training practices that caused the river to return to its original course, and in its fury took out the road which was built in the river's course.

ONE-LANE PATH

The now famous 'cane field access road', through which Semone Butler carried her 17-year-old daughter Denelia Kelly on her back in the heavy rains, is the only access to the bridge, and Redwood, Guy's Hill, and other communities. It's a one-lane path that was hastily done.

"Nobody remember this part of the world until election time. Look at the place. Is three different set a pipes lay down here from in the 1970s and there is no water in the community.

"The first set a pipes lay down from the (Michael) Manley days, and look how long the '70s done. Not a drop a water, and water run through here to other communities," said Manson Facey, one of the elder residents of the community.

The community in St Catherine North East is represented by the Jamaica Labour Party's Leslie Campbell, who defeated the People's National Party's Phyllis Mitchell in the 2016 general election.

The residents claim the rains brought him out, "cause him sure as hell never come out here in the dry weather".

According to one resident, "Him come back here one time since the election to say thanks. Since then, people see him for the first time last week when the road collapsed.

"We don't know where (the) constituency office is. Gregory Mair (former MP) used to have an office at Riversdale, but we don't know where Leslie Campbell office is."

erica.virtue@gleanerjm.com