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Heavy rains leave residents stranded

A section of the informal community in Parry Town where some residents were left marooned after heavy rains flooded the area.

KINGSTON — Heavy rains early yesterday morning left more than 100 residents in an informal settlement near Ocho Rios marooned. Several homes and businesses in other parts of the community were also flooded.

The heavy rains also caused further damage to the already battered Parry Town/Pimento Walk main road, which links the communities to the resort north coast town of Ocho Rios.

“We need the road to be fixed and proper drainage system put in place [as] the road is in a very deplorable state. Right now we don’t have any road,” Parry Town resident Rayon Dunkley complained to the Jamaica Observer.

“I grow up come see this road in the same condition. It’s been so many years now, the gully is so bad when rain fall, we need proper road and proper drainage,” he added.

Dunkley pointed to a gully in the community which, he explained, was responsible for the flooding; and said corrective measures were needed immediately to prevent further damage to the roads and private properties.

Another resident, Beverly Archer, was seen removing silt from a shop in the community. “It’s just a lot of water and mud,” she said. “It (water) came from all over and it made a big pile of mud. Nothing was damaged, but right now I have to be washing out the place because of the amount of water and mud.”

Councillor Ian Bell (PNP, Beecher Town Division), explained that emergency work to help ease some of the discomfort, especially to those affected by the flooding, would immediately be undertaken.

“I spoke to the mayor, hoping to get some funding for some remedial road work which should be done starting today (yesterday),” Bell said. “This is now a matter of emergency, and we cannot put this off for tomorrow.”

Bell said he was expecting the council to allocate about $2 million for the emergency work, which includes the cleaning of drains and clearing of debris from the roadway, to commence.

The deplorable state of the road sparked a protest by residents and taxi operators earlier this week, and Bell said even before yesterday’s heavy rainfall plans were in place to carry out some repairs. (Observer)

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