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MP pleads for marooned residents in east Hanover

Published:Wednesday | October 13, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Dr D.K. Duncan (right), member of parliament for Eastern Hanover, boards a boat for a visit to the community of Chigwell, Hanover, which has been cut off from other areas by flood waters. - Photo by Adrian Frater

Adrian Frater, News Editor

WESTERN BUREAU:

Member of Parliament for Eastern Hanover D.K. Duncan is making an urgent appeal for Government to pay special attention to the situation in the communities of Chigwell, Forest and Piercely, which remain marooned in the aftermath of the recent passage of Tropical Storm Nicole.

"The water is still rising and more families, especially in Chigwell, are being affected," Duncan said. "In addition, the rotting corpses of dead livestock and other animals that perished in the flooding is creating an awful stench and is raising health concerns."

Threat from rising waters

Duncan, who visited the area on Monday, said that, initially, Forest and Piercely were the main areas of concern. However, within recent days, there have been reports of more and more homes being covered by the rising flood waters in Chigwell.

"The water has risen as much as nine to 10 feet in some areas," stated Duncan. "Some families are worried as, if the situation continues to get worse, they might be forced to abandon their homes."

Miserable for residents

While the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management has provided the communities with three boats, the situation is, nonetheless, quite miserable for the residents who are not able to move in and out of the area at will.

"There is a need to ensure that the residents have enough food," said Duncan. "In addition, Government needs to start looking at developing a relocation plan for those families whose homes are being threatened by the rising water."

Because of the flooding situation, which makes the affected communities only accessible by water, the residents - especially workers and students - have not been able to go about their normal business.

"Some of the affected students have had to be staying in nearby communities, such as Hopewell, with relatives and friends," lamented Duncan. "Those with no such connections just have to remain marooned in their communities."

adrian.frater@gleanerjm.com