Hanover Parish Council stepping up hurricane preparations
Nagra Plunkett, Assignment Coordinator
The Hanover Parish Council is moving swiftly to restructure its drain-cleaning exercise as it readies for the 2012 hurricane season, following reports of flooding in Orchard, near Hopewell, which left a family temporarily displaced and damaged roadways.
"The technical team from the council will assess and give an estimate of the damage here in Hopewell," said Mayor of Lucea Shernette Haughton.
"We began beautification and drain cleaning in the parish last week so there is major work going on in the town of Lucea now. I really can't give an actual cost for the programme because it is more than we had estimated."
Firefighters had to evacuate the family of nine, including a five-month-old baby, from a house that was threatened by rising waters during heavy rains in the parish on Sunday.
"I am working closely with councillor (for the Hopewell Division) Devon Brown to see how best we can assist the residents, especially with the dug-up roads," added Haughton.
Disaster coordinator at the Hanover Parish Council, Desmond Dorman, said the family has returned home and described the evacuation as a precautionary move.
"The location that was flooded yesterday has not been so affected in the past," stated Dorman. "There was no damage to the house. A nearby drain became flooded; it flooded their yard and threatened to flood their home."
He also said that due to increased construction in the area, existing waterways, gullies and drains that were once sufficient have now outlived their capacity.
Parish well prepared
Dorman also shared that the parish was well-advanced in its preparation for the hurricane season that officially begins on June 1.
"We are not a hundred per cent prepared but we're getting there."
He also urged residents to formulate their own disaster plans.
"We would like the public in general across the parish, especially in flood-prone and high-altitude areas, to avail themselves of the kind of preparedness information that is in the public media, as well as to contact their local disaster coordinator with any queries they have. There's no satisfaction like being personally prepared."
The communities of Chigwell, Santoy, Green Island, Hopewell and sections of Lucea in Hanover are often affected by rising waters and flooding during the hurricane season, which leaves scores of families displaced."