Longville Park, Cockpit hardest hit by Elsa rainfall
Following a tour of the Clarendon South East constituency by Member of Parliament Pearnel Charles Jr and Mayor of May Pen Winston Maragh, both are breathing sighs of relief that the damage is not more extensive.
Maragh said the two communities hardest hit by Tropical Storm Elsa were Cockpit and Longville Park.
Charles Jr is thankful for the mitigation actions carried out on Saturday, following a tour of the various shelters in the constituency on Friday.
“Myself and a team did a full tour of the constituency on Saturday looking on the state of the gullies and drains, and we actually worked with the National Works Agency (NWA) to do some clearing in Hayes and other areas in Lionel Town, in addition to the work that the mayor was doing,” he noted, pointing out that they were also able to see significant improvement.
Charles Jr, however, said that the tour revealed that there is still work to be done in terms of maintenance programmes.
Mark Bryan, resident of Longville Park, believes that the flooding could have been avoided if the National Housing Trust (NHT) representatives had paid attention to their concerns.
“For over a period of time, we were suffering from the water coming from behind and in front of us. We went to the authorities, we suffered until they came, and currently, where Longville Vista is, they were forced to cut a gully which help us to retain the water. We were good until the construction of Longville Vista,” he shared with The Gleaner.
According to Bryan, when he realised that crewmen were changing a trench, he warned that it would have been unwise to do so.
“They told us that their engineers had done an assessment and that the drains would be adequate,” Bryan noted.
Sunday’s deluge proved that theory was misinformed, he said.
“We are back at square one and we really need to hear what will happen and what will be done about it as we struggle in this season on what we hear will be an active one,” Bryan stated.
Maragh, in responding to their concerns, said he toured the community on Monday with an engineer from the NHT with whom he discussed the problem.
“Most of the culverts are undersized, and that’s what’s causing the problem,” Maragh shared.
Charles Jr, who visited the community on Sunday, said he saw at first hand some evidence of the flooding effects. He also advised the affected residents to submit photos and videos of property damage.
“We have explained to the NHT that the solutions that they presented in terms of the drainage are insufficient and there is need for us to revisit the engineering solution, and they have given me their commitment to assist the residents and to do a re-examination further to what we saw take place, the volume of water that was captured,” he said, adding that a team from the NHT is expected to be in the area in the next couple of days.