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Flood waters saturate St Bess in 2010

Published:Monday | January 3, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Residents of New River, near Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth, use a makeshift raft to make their way along the flooded sections of the community shortly after heavy rains caused by Tropical Storm Nicole in September. - Photo by Christopher Thomas

As Jamaica welcomes the new year, The Gleaner, this week, takes a look at events that took place in the island's parishes during 2010.

André Gordon, Gleaner Writer

BLACK RIVER, St Elizabeth:

THE BREADbasket parish of St Elizabeth was not spared the onslaught of the global recession in 2010 and came in for much battering when heavy rains associated with Tropical Storm Nicole lashed the island last September.

The residents and farmers of Newmarket will record 2010 as another year which brought a great flood on the land. While most of the animals were saved, the crops of yams, bananas and dasheen were swept away by the flood waters. Several homes were under water for weeks, and the livelihood of many was disrupted.

Flood waters also resulted in the suspension of water supply in Santa Cruz for many weeks. The parish council subsequently recommissioned the old Burnt Ground well in an effort to pump water to residents.

Meanwhile, the farming belt of south St Elizabeth was not spared the ravages of Nicole, as flood waters inundated fields and destroyed crops.

Despite the battering by the tropical storm, development in the parish went ahead at an accelerated pace. Ground was broken for a new municipal building in Black River. By far, the most daring and enterprising development in the parish came by way of Jason Henzell and Jake's Holdings Ltd, with their investment in the Lionel Densham Aerodrome in the Pedro Planes area. This development is slated to increase the flow of tourists to the south coast. Following closely on that, another announcement was made for the Holland airstrip to be converted into a commercial aerodrome. Not very far away, in Luana, the Government has announced an 800-solution housing project.

On the political front, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Dr Christopher Tufton dethroned long-time Jamaica Labour Party Area Council Four deputy leader, Dr Horace Chang. The People's National Party had its own problems in North East St Elizabeth, with the new standard-bearer Basil Waite coming under pressure from factions within the constituency.