Community Focus: MoBay residents concerned over possible flooding

April 10, 2018
A pedestrian makes his way along a muddied street in downtown Montego Bay in November.
Chinese business operator cleaning up after flooding in Montego Bay in November last year.

Several residents and business operators in Montego Bay, St James, have expressed low confidence in the authorities' ability to put the necessary measures in place to prevent flooding in the upcoming hurricane season.

The Second City is no stranger to major flooding, which, throughout the years, has impacted businesses and commuters alike whenever there is a heavy downpour.

The situation however, was amplified in November of last year when flood waters swept across the resort town, flooded businesses, washing away vehicles, and left many persons stranded for hours.

The authorities responded a day after the disaster with a massive emergency clean-up exercise that saw drains and gullies being widened and cleaned in order to avoid a repeat of the devastation that cost the city and its people millions of dollars in losses.

However, in speaking to the Western STAR recently, persons have noted that the city will be flooded again because the authorities are not doing enough.

"I have no confidence in them because it is always after the damage done them a run come help," said Charles Stewart, who resides in the North Gully area, which was affected by the last major flooding.




Stewart believes that it is only a matter of time before Montego Bay experiences a repeat of the devastating flooding, but this time, lives may be lost.

"I think the city will flood out again when another heavy rain fall. I have no confidence in them to solve the problem. I see it happen more than once," he said.

Attorney-at-law and former president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry Nathan Robb echoed similar sentiments, while adding that there are some engineering flaws that need to be addressed in the downtown Montego Bay area.

"It was the first time I see the North Gully running towards the South Gully in terms of an overflow, and it was something I found alarming," said Robb.

"My office, which is located at the Jamaica National building,had waters even coming in up to about the second step to go upstairs. In fact, all of the businesses on block were flooded, and one of the reasons is because once you have rain, then there is no channelling of the water because the road and sidewalk are almost [on] the same level," he further explained.

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