Daviot Kelly & Rasbert Turner
Pauline Galloway's desk at work was empty yesterday, as she literally couldn't leave her verandah to get there.
Galloway's yard in Hartlands, St Catherine, was inundated with water, the result of rains brought by Tropical Storm Isaac. Galloway, who works at the Child Development Agency, was among a number of residents who could not venture out of the low-lying area.
"I've been living here from 2010 and it's always like this. I have called the authorities before. They promised to come and all now, I don't see nobody," a frustrated Galloway said. Just to get close enough to speak to her requires some acrobatics similar to that in an Indiana Jones movie. You have to tread carefully to navigate your way around the solid areas of her yard. A false step will leave you shin deep in mud.
"Sunday night it was like the water was just pouring down. And it floods even without 'big' rain. When it really rise, you can't see the wall," she said, pointing to the little arch that leads to her yard from the main road.
Galloway said no one told her about the flooding problem when she bought the house.
"They told me that when you have storms, 'likkle' water would come up into the yard. But I didn't know the area was a cane piece."
She said the last time her yard was flooded, it took three weeks for the water in her backyard to subside. Unlike Galloway, Lennox Henry said he was born and raised in Hartlands so this was all normal.
"All this time, nutten nuh do 'bout it. It just takes two hours of hard rain or even less fi flood," he said.
Henry, who lives with six family members, said sometimes like Sunday night, the water flows into the rooms.
"One side of the house lower so it come in sometimes. We try raise the level of the house," he said. Galloway also has been buying blocks to do her own construction. But they feel they are doing it on their own.
"I'm not even sure who the MP (member of parliament) is, because mi neva see none come 'round here before," said Henry.
"But mi fraid it get worse," he added, as he watched his son Delano playing in the water with a stick. Like Galloway, Henry said his mother and brother also couldn't go to work. But he was happy that yesterday the water was retreating.
In other areas of St Catherine, the National Works Agency said, sections of the Williamsfield to Glengoffe and Zion Hill Bridge to Free Town roads were re-opened to single lane access. Also, St John's Road in the vicinity of Johnson Pen and Old Friendship School was inundated. Motorists should, therefore, proceed cautiously.