Risky business in Cave Valley
Starting a business is a risk, but in Cave Valley, St Ann, it's an even greater risk. The community is well-known for the instantaneous flooding that occurs at the onset of any heavy rainfall, and because of this, very few businesses exist in the town.
"Cave Valley drown like three times already, and the last time weh mi know Cave Valley drown, every building down ya suh, water tek it ova, all a dem makeshift building move come cross the road," Jimmie, a vendor in Cave Valley, told THE STAR.
"If you come here seh yuh a do some business and the rain fall, yuh business threaten, water can flood you out. You can have plans and ideas fi Cave Valley, but cya mek it proceed," he added.
But one business owner has used this risk to his advantage. Christopher Campbell operates one of the two wholesales that are in the town. He's been doing business in Cave Valley for nine years now, and has very little competition.
"Initially, most persons didn't want to do business here, so it basically leave an opening for somebody to come in. They say the greater the risk, the greater the reward," he said.
However, he had also had to deal with the consequences of doing business in Cave Valley.
"Once you hear that there is any severe weather out, you have to start preparing. Unfortunately, the last time it flooded, I lost millions of dollars. That was in May of 2017. There wasn't a storm or anything, we just had some rains over the week, and then around 3 o'clock in the morning I got a call that Cave Valley was starting to flood. By the time I got here from Brown's Town, the water was inside the building. We had to try and take out what we could, but everything else that we couldn't take out was damaged," he said.
He told THE STAR that he gets especially anxious when it's the hurricane season. Forecasters are predicting a busier-than-normal hurricane season, and this has persons in Cave Valley worried.
"With hurricane season around the corner, mi feel nervous. Each night you go to sleep, you listening for the phone to ring to seh it start or you need to come up now," he said
And in addition to constructing another building, which he said is out of the flood prone zone, Campbell has also been taking other precautions. "What I did was I got another storage, but then there was a challenge keeping up with moving from one location to the other, so I stored some things at that location that is not really in any great demand," he said