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ODPEM urges caution as heavy rains trigger flooding in sections of the island

Published:Sunday | June 5, 2011 | 1:18 PM

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) says it is carefully monitoring several communities in southern Clarendon and sections of St. Andrew, St. Thomas and Portland, as a flash flood warning remains in effect for the island.

The warning, which was issued at 5:00 a.m. by the National Meteorological Service, means flooding has occurred or will occur shortly.

Director General of the ODPEM, Ronald Jackson says the disaster agency is keenly monitoring vulnerable communities along the banks of the Hope River in St. Andrew, including Kintyre.

He says parish disaster coordinators and other emergency personnel have been put on alert to assist persons to evacuate if necessary.

He says sections of roads in Gordon Town and Mavis Bank in St. Andrew have collapsed, while the agency has received reports that some main roads in the Corporate Area have also sustained structural damage. He says the drainage along Molynes Road has been damaged by flood waters.

Meanwhile the ODPEM says the Hordley Crossing in eastern St. Thomas is impassable. The ford, which is the only route from St. Thomas to Portland, has been flooded by torrential rain pelting the island since Friday.

The agency is advising motorists to avoid the area.

And residents of Big Pond in St. Catherine are worried as the pond in area has begun to overflow. Marsha- Lee Richards, a resident for the community for more than 23 years says residents are appealing for help.