Wed | Dec 1, 2021

Bachelor’s Hall at mercy of river when it rains

Published:Tuesday | October 27, 2020 | 12:21 AMShanna Monteith/Gleaner Writer

Rain clouds bring worry for residents of Bachelor’s Hall in St Thomas.

While persons travelling to between Hordley Crossing and Bath or on the Golden Grove to Hordley main road may get nervous, fearing the road will become impassable if the Plantain Garden River is in spate, it is the residents of Bachelor’s Hall who bear the brunt of the pain.

For them, the rising water could reach up to knee height inside their homes as was the case with that of 60-odd-year old Shenley Miles on the weekend.

“The river is on a piece of this land and whenever it rains, it [overflows] and comes straight through this house and go on the road and block it,” he told The Gleaner yesterday. “When mi sit inside, the water all catch me a mi knee inside my own house, and if me ever go in the yard, is all mi chest it reach sometimes.”

Water-stained concrete walls, damp flooring and hoisted furniture bore testament to Miles’ story and illustrated that the past few days of heavy rainfall have been hell for the farmer.

In addition to sleeping in a riverbed and losing some three acres of pumpkin and sorrel, he related an additional fear of crocodiles, which he says have been spotted in the river in years gone by.

Admitting that he has grown somewhat accustomed to the disaster, Miles expressed that the discomfort experienced by himself, his neighbours and those displaced at Hordley Crossing can be fixed if the Plantain Garden River is properly dredged and trained.

“It kinda rough, man, but mi grateful for life. That is the key,” he said yesterday. “Mi can always go back, but the river needs to be dredged out because it full up of sand and has become levelled with the land. So when it overflows, it comes through here and blocks the whole of here and goes to Hordley Crossing. It needs river training.”

Two houses down from Miles lives a 21-year-old woman and her two children, a three-year-old and a one-year-old.

And though her house is not flooded, Sodinnie McCalla has reasons to worry when it rains.

“The water continues to come into the yard and when it falls mi have to fret because a me alone live with my two kids, and sometimes the river come in at nights and taxi hard to get down here, so we can’t run,” she said.

“It soaks and rotten the ply them on the house, too, but we just have to bear it. I don’t know what will happen if a hurricane comes,” McCalla said.