'Not one more night' - Canoe Pond resident abandons house after near-death experience
Anastasia Cunningham, News Coordinator
For more than 20 years Fay Perry had called Canoe Pond in Oracabessa, St Mary home. But on Saturday, she almost lost her life in her safe haven. And she has sworn she would never again lay her head there.
Heavy rains that caused extensive flooding in St Mary on the weekend hit the Canoe Pond community hard. Perry was among those whose homes were flooded, destroying furniture and belongings, leaving everything soaked and covered in mud and silt.
On Monday, the 58-year-old was still in shock and tears as she surveyed her ruined possessions spread out in the yard. The terror she felt inside overtook her when she reminisced on how close herself and two other family members came to death.
"I believe we were going to drown. I thought we were going to die. If it did come at night we could never miss death," she shared with watery eyes.
Perry said shortly after 2:00 p.m. on Saturday when the rain started, she took precautionary measures and started packing away her things, given that the community was prone to flooding.
But within 20 minutes, a strong gush of water streamed down the Airy Hill main road from a river above, overtaking everything in its path.
"After I pack away the things and sit down in the room, the door was closed and the dresser was behind it. I just hear 'boom!' and the dresser gone suh and we try to come out and a fight fi come out, but we couldn't move. The force of the water pin we down," she recounted to The Gleaner.
"When we fight and fight and get out, the water reach me up here suh," Perry said, while pointing to the area of her breasts.
She said she and her family battled through the raging, muddy water and managed to reach a friend's hairdressing salon up the road, where they took refuge for the night. After the water had subsided and she returned home, she was in disbelief.
She said she had experienced several floodings before, but this was the worst.
"We used to it, because as the rain start we can't sleep. But I never see so much water from the day I was born and I never lose so many things," she shared.
Perry, who is now staying with relatives in Boscobel, has vowed never to again sleep in the house she has called home for more than 20 years.
"I will never ever lay my head in there one more night. Not one more night. As the rain mek up I start to fret, so it don't make any sense. I almost lose me life in there," she shared, her voice broken in pain.
Speculating on the source of that much water, she said, "fish and shrimp was everywhere, so we know the water was coming from the river up the road".
"It was like four river meet together and take over the community."
The Airy Hill main road, that was constructed a year ago, was also extensively damaged. The asphalt had peeled off the marl and mounted at numerous points. There were also several breakaways, forcing residents to fill in the gaps with barrels of stones.