Sun | Sep 23, 2018

Portland residents reflect on hurricanes

Published:Monday | June 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
A section of the Millbank main road in Portland.
Tailors Winston Forbes (left) and Peter Salmon in an animated discussion with The Gleaner last week.
Farmer Wellington Fuller says that Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 was an eye-opening experience for him.
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Some residents of Portland expressed overwhelming fear, while others were more relaxed as they reflected on previous hurricane seasons and how they fared. They all agreed, however, that proper precaution must be adhered to if they are to be spared any devastation during the current season.

The hurricane season continues through to November 30.

Hope Bay resident Winston Forbes told The Gleaner that he is prepared for any eventualities, but he indicated that his greatest hope is that there is no disaster at all.

"All we have to do when we get the warning is move and go to higher ground. My house go through nuff hurricane. I don't know if it can manage another one, so if I have to evacuate, I won't sit down," he said.

"Fret can't help wi. It nuh mek sense we worry. We just have to prepare and make sure that we prevent as much damage as possible," he continued.

Claudette Spence's story was one of distress as she recalled the damage she experienced during Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

"People with proper house will not fret, but like me, who is living in a board house, I am very worried. The last big hurricane (Ivan), all of my verandah was completely destroyed, and all now, I haven't recovered fully. I have to be taking my time to put back the bits and pieces," she said. "If I have to leave, I will leave because I got a lot of damage the last time.

"My husband is not the worrying type. His philosophy is for God's will to be done, but I am very scared," she said.

Over at Ginger House, Wellington Fuller shared similar sentiments, noting that he is trying his best to exercise caution.

"I will never forget Gilbert. What mek it worse was the fact that we took it for a big joke. Nobody expected so much damage at all. I learned my lesson, though, but a one ting you nah get me do and is worry. What must happen will happen," Fuller told The Gleaner.

"I will do my best to prepare myself. I think my house is in a good enough condition, but if I have to leave, I have a place I can go to."

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com