Hundreds of residents in several communities in Westmoreland are now marooned by floodwaters from a major downpour triggered by a trough induced by the passing of Hurricane Laura near Cuba on Sunday, which dumped several centimetres of rain across Jamaica, leaving millions of dollars in damage to the road network in a number of parishes.
The affected communities in Westmoreland include: McNeil Land, Little London, Paul Island and Carmel, which remained inundated up to press time.
Hilma Tate, Disaster Coordinator for Westmoreland told the Western Mirror in an interview that despite pleas from the municipal corporation, many residents of the affected communities have stoutly refused to temporarily evacuate from their homes, despite the threat posed by rains which came yesterday (Tuesday), triggering run offs from the hillsides.
“So, what we are seeing is that some areas remain inundated while water has receded from a few communities. However, some residents have refused to be evacuated despite our suggestions and pleas.”
Miss Tate said they are concerned that residents are walking in the water, which is posing serious health threats because the water is very dirty.
“We are advising residents not to wade or walk through the water in McNeil Lands or other areas but especially McNeil Lands, because the water is very dirty and contaminated and could pose serious health risks from waterborne diseases or infections.”
She indicated that technical officers from the Ministry of Labour Social Security and Sport were in the community on Tuesday conducting assessments and offering food packages.
Miss Tate said representatives from the health department will today (Wednesday) be visiting the communities, advising residents how to treat drinking water and to reinforce health message relating to flood water.
In the meantime, The National Works Agency visited Whithorn, Darliston and Bath Mountain, where land slippages occurred and cleared debris from the roads which were rendered impassable.