Hurricane Damage Assessment Underway in Central Jamaica

(JIS)Assessment teams from various agencies of government are currently touring communities in Manchester, Clarendon and St. Elizabeth, to ascertain the level of damage as a result of Hurricane Emily.

Parish Disaster Coordinator for St. Elizabeth, Yvonne Morrison told JIS News that the situation was “very bad’ in a number of areas.

“Right at this moment, we have sections of the parish, which are totally inaccessible via the main roads. I make particular reference to Treasure Beach, Short Hill, Beacon, Mountainside and Newcombe Valley,” she said. Ms. Morrison informed that she had already made contact with the relevant agencies such as the National Works Agency for the necessary repairs to be undertaken.

She also expressed concern that a number of persons in flood-prone areas had not heeded the warnings to leave their homes and make their way to the emergency shelters or higher ground. “I must mention the persons who live in Mountainside, who only recently were cut off by both hurricanes Charley and Ivan, but who still insist on not following our instructions,” she said.

The Parish Coordinator stated that she was particularly saddened by the fact that a young mother and her children had lost their lives while trying to drive through high waters along the Myersville route.

“Motorists need to pay keen attention to the state of the road, once you notice that there is a huge body of standing water on the roadway, you should think twice before attempting to cross,” she warned.

There was also the case of a child being struck by lightning. “The good news is that the individual is now in a stable condition at the Black River Hospital, Ms. Morrison said.

She noted that most of the shelters were now closed as persons had opted to return home. She also reported that the entire town of Black River was without running water.

Over in Manchester, more than two-dozen houses along the Gutters to Alligator Pond Main Road are now covered by floodwaters.

Parish Disaster Coordinator, Sherina Smith told JIS News that the Parish Disaster Management team started its assessment early this morning and by the end of the day, “we should have a much clearer idea of the nature of the total damage to especially the southern side of the parish.”

Ms. Smith said persons, who need assistance should call the offices of the Manchester Parish Council. “The information you provide will help us to help you. Please leave all the relevant information that will enable us to locate you in the shortest possible time,” she urged.

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