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MoBay's geography makes it prone to flooding - NWA

Published:Tuesday | March 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas/ Gleaner Writer
Janel Ricketts


Janel Ricketts, the community relations officer for the National Works Agency's (NWA) western region, is blaming the current geographical structure of Montego Bay for last Friday's flooding in sections of the western city.

The latest incident in which downtown Montego Bay and the corridor near the Sangster International Airport were covered in water from the rains happened months after similar heavy rains resulted in major flooding in sections of the city last November.

In an interview with The Gleaner yesterday, Ricketts said that some areas in Montego Bay are lower than others, which facilitates flooding during heavy rains.

"For some areas, it is the geography, such as by the gas station (on St James Street), where that section is a bit low. What we had on Friday was quite a bit of rain, so whenever you have so much rain within a short space of time, low-lying sections will be flooded," said Ricketts.

"This last flooding wasn't as bad as the one before (in November), but we're evaluating the systems that we currently have to see the best way forward," added Ricketts.




She also dismissed the notion that improper garbage disposal played a major role in Friday's flooding.

"The drains were cleaned, but, in some situations, it was the geography. For example, near Cornwall College (on upper Orange Street), you could not say it was a garbage situation as based on the geography, sometimes it floods when you have heavy rains. So I would not put [the blame] squarely on garbage disposal," said Ricketts.

Following Friday's flooding, Opposition Spokesman on Local Government Dr Angela Brown Burke said that The St James Municipal Corporation must identify the contributing factors to prevent a recurrence and called for enforcement of the Anti-Litter Act and the provision of funding to clear Montego Bay's drains.