MoBay is ready - Mayor confident city can respond to any disaster
Mayor of Montego Bay and Chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation, Councillor Homer Davis, says the second city is largely in a state of readiness for the upcoming hurricane season.
Davis, who also chairs the parish’s disaster preparedness management committee, told the Western Star that major overhauls were carried out on Montego Bay’s gullies and drains after torrential rain and flooding impacted the city last November.
“Yes, the city is prepared,” said Davis who noted that regular disaster preparedness management are being held to update the inventory of all that Montego Bay will need in the event of another major disaster.
“If anything should happen now then we will be able to respond. In the case of flooding, we have several equipment and operators we can call upon. Regarding certain basic supplies like food and water, we have distributors who we have a relationship with and can get those things in quick time,” he added.
Parish being prepared
Davis said the entire St James is being prepared for the 2018 hurricane season.
According to him, Local Government Minister, Desmond McKenzie, has allocated $500,000 for each councillor to clean drains in their respective divisions.
“So I can say for St James, we will have some $8.5 million to clean drains across the parish’s 17 divisions,” Davis stated.
“That magnitude of rain we experienced last year will disrupt anything and the truth is that the drains weren’t adequate to carry the amount of water so the flooding was not necessarily due to the blockage. We have, however, since then widened a little of the North Gully and have engaged other places around the town to ensure the water can run off,” he added.
Davis also made an appeal to the citizens, particularly those living along the edges of gullies.
“I must appeal to the citizens that when they have their old fridge, stove, TV and so forth, don’t dispose them in the gully because it will run down and block the culvert, and it doesn’t matter what you have, there is not culvert that can take a double bed mattress. It can’t work,” said Davis.
“Up in Green Pond, we had that problem. It has been corrected so I doubt we will have a reoccurrence of what happened last time,” he added.