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ODPEM ready to help St Mary after flooding

Published: Monday November 12, 2012 | 9:59 am Comments 0

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) says it stands ready to provide welfare assistance to the residents of St Mary who have been affected by the weekend flood.

ODPEM director general Ronald Jackson says the agency does not have direct responsibility for disaster coordination at the local level.

But he says where the parish authorities need help, the ODPEM will assist.

SEE: Photo Gallery of Port Maria, St Mary after the flood

On Saturday, the St Mary capital Port Maria and several other communities were flooded as a stationary front produced heavy rainfall.

Yesterday, residents complained that the failure of the authorities to clean the drains have contributed to the problem.

But Mr Jackson says a big part of the issue is that Port Maria is below sea level and is also located on the flood plains between two rivers.

Local officials are expected to continue assessing the damage today which is already estimated will run into millions of dollars.

The Central St Mary MP Dr Morais Guy says technical officers will be brought in to assess the cause of the problem.

The State Minister for Transport and Works Richard Azan is also expected to lead a team to the St Mary capital this week.

Meanwhile, for the second time in a few weeks, the Port Maria Primary School will not be open.

Classrooms and the offices were covered in mud yesterday, with everything ruined.

The yard was also deep in mud and silt, and part of the retaining wall had broken away.

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