Sun | Jan 20, 2019

Marooned residents in west Portland could have road access by tomorrow - Vaz

Published:Sunday | January 14, 2018 | 5:02 PMGareth Davis Snr
Heavy duty equipment working to drain water from 'Matty Hole' in West Portland.

Marooned residents of Darley and Maidstone in west Portland could have road access by tomorrow, Member of Parliament Daryl Vaz says.

For seven days residents of several rural Portland communities have been unable to enter or leave due to the unusual presence of a large body of water that block road access after days of heavy rainfall.

On Saturday, private contractors with the aid of heavy-duty equipment, started the challenging process of digging trenches to drain water away from an area known as 'Matty Hole', which covers more than two acres of farmland and also the road access route.

"Residents should have full access in another 24 hours," Vaz told the Gleaner.

He added: "it is rather frustrating for residents living at Darley, Bourbon, Maidstone, and Durham, who have been shut-in from Sunday, January 7. Water levels have risen up to 15 feet in some areas, and they (residents) have endured a nightmare experience, which have affected not only their livelihood, but it has disrupted their day to day activity."

According to Vaz, an assessment is to be done by engineers from the National Works Agency (NWA) as soon as the water is removed from 'Matty Hole', to provide solutions to correct the problem in that area.

He thanked private contractors such as Tank-Well, Diving and Salvaging, and  Vinci Construction Company which are assisting with returning access to the roadway.

Meantime, residents say the last time 'Matty Hole', which got its name after a woman known as Matty who drowned at that spot about 50 years ago, experienced flooding was in 1997 during almost one week of heavy downpour.