Peta-Gaye Clachar/Staff Photographer
People wade through knee-high, murky waters at the Harbour View bridge yesterday. Many had flights to catch and hoisted suitcases in the air as they crossed over, while others were 'ferried' across by hustlers. The bridge collapsed on Thursday during the passage of Gustav, cutting off access from Kingston to east Harbour View and St Thomas.
Gareth Manning, Sunday Gleaner Reporter
It has been a slow and painful recovery from the effects of Tropical Storm Gustav for persons in the parish of Portland, which first felt the brunt of the weather system which hit the island on Thursday.
Up to late yesterday, Portland and sections of St Mary remained without electricity, while many householders who had lost their roofs were trying to put their lives back together.
Following a tour with Prime Minister Bruce Golding of storm-affected communities yesterday, Daryl Vaz, minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, and member of parliament for West Portland, told The Sunday Gleaner that hundreds of residents in the communities of Cascade, Regale and surrounding areas remained marooned.
"They were completely cut off both at the St Andrew end and at the Buff Bay Valley end," the state minister reported.
Several other roads remained broken in the parish, while some residents also remained in shelters in eastern Portland in communities such as Manchioneal, which was severely struck by Gustav.
The banana sector in St Thomas, St Mary and Portland suffered significant damage, according to Agriculture Minister Christopher Tufton. He noted that while the domestic market would not be readily affected, the export would be devastated.
"(For) banana that was on the rebound [following Hurricane Dean] ... the wind damage, based on what I saw in St Thomas, would be about 95 per cent," Tufton said. St Mary and Portland suffered 70 per cent each, he disclosed.
The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management reported that the official death toll following Gustav was seven. Four persons who were swept away in a vehicle in Bull Bay, St Andrew, remained missing up to late yesterday evening, although the vehicle in which they were travelling had been found.
About 140 roads had been cleared yesterday by the National Works Agency, including the Gordon Town to Papine main road, which was inundated by a mudslide cutting off access for several residents to the capital. The Bog Walk Gorge, however, remained closed to vehicular traffic.