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Rains wreak havoc in St Mary, Portland again

Published:Wednesday | January 6, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Heavy rains in sections of St Mary on Monday and Tuesday once again wreaked havoc on residences and roads in sections of western St Mary, causing residents to protest by blocking sections of the roadway in Canoe Pond.

More than six houses were reportedly flooded in the Canoe Pond area near Oracabessa in the parish, while a section of the roadway has virtually given way.

A bridge at Eden Park is also said to be on the verge of collapse, as repairs that were promised last year have still not been carried out.

"The flooding that occurred recently was repeated (today) as the drains in Canoe Pond have not been cleared," Bruce Farrell, councillor for the Oracabessa division, said yesterday.

Farrell said equipment from the National Works Agency (NWA) had cleared sections of the drain but the job was not done properly.

He further explained that marl used to patch the roadway after recent rains was washed away in Tuesday's rain and this contributed to the blockage.

"The citizens became very agitated this morning and vented their frustration," Farrell said.

The resulting roadblocks were later cleared, after Farrell reportedly addressed the crowd.

Farrell expressed major concern over the condition of the bridge at Eden Park which, he said, was on the verge of collapse.

He said despite an announcement some months ago by Member of Parliament for Western St Mary, Robert Montague, and the National Works Agency that the contract was signed and work was ready to begin on the bridge, nothing had been done.

But according to Montague, while the contract was not signed at the time referred to by the councillor, work should begin on the bridge later this month.

residents order to evacuate

In the meantime, heavy rains in east Portland have forced the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) to order residents of Melod Lane to evacuate.

Parish coordinator of ODPEM, Denise Lewis, said that a river in the Melod Lane community of Breast Works had overflowed its banks, and was a serious threat to several houses.

Several roadways in west Portland, including sections of St Margaret's Bay, Hope Bay, Snow Hill and Passley Gardens were inundated, following three days of heavy rainfall.

The ODPEM parish coordinator also said there were several land slippages in the Port Antonio area, Breast Works and sections of Anchovy.