Thu | Dec 9, 2021

Shipping companies spared by Tropical Storm Grace, but operations delayed

Published:Tuesday | August 24, 2021 | 12:08 AM

Tropical Storm Grace’s passage had little impact on the structures of Jamaica’s shipping interests, but some are still feeling the effects of its aftermath.

Newport West, the Kingston-based shipping community which has been prone to severe flooding in previous years, was littered with debris following the storm’s passage. However, this was being cleared away early Wednesday.

Freight consolidator, B.L. Williams, escaped the brunt of the storm, which caused power outages, disrupted water supply and flooded over 170 roadways across the island. Managing Director Roger Morecroft, shared, “It didn’t affect us at all much. We lost a business day, which was inevitable but that was all”. He also indicated that ongoing drain cleaning in recent times likely contributed to Newport West’s evading worse conditions.

Another company shared that it experienced some leaking due to the heavy rainfall but said it was minimal and that no equipment was damaged due to preventative measures taken ahead of the storm’s arrival.

Fabian Stewart , executive directorat Aero International Shipping Limited, located on East King Street in Kingston, said the company fared well during the storm, but noted that its passage disrupted operations.“It [Tropical Storm Grace] wasn’t a problem, because we’re not at the port.

However, Stewart said setbacks related to Grace’s passage hindered operations, noting, “we are experiencing tremendous delays in getting cargo out of the port. We’ve paid customs duties since Wednesday and up until now (Thursday), we can’t get release of cargo. There’s just tremendous chaos and delays.”

Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL) in a statement, shared that its severe weather preparation protocols was activated ahead of the storm to safeguard its team members, customers and facilities. “These measures enabled KWL to mitigate the worst effects of the weather system, and as a result, all areas of our business returned to normal operations immediately following the storm’s passage.”

Tropical Storm Grace, the seventh named storm of the season, was later upgraded to a hurricane – the second so far – as it moved past Jamaica. The Atlantic hurricane season, which has been predicted to be an above-average one, will enter its peak period come September.