Heavy, continuous rain in sections of St Mary, Portland and St Ann has forced many communities to be cut off from vehicular traffic, the National Works Agency (NWA) confirmed yesterday.
Scores of residents of the three parishes called the Jamaica Observer newsroom to report incidents of flooding, mudslides, traffic pile-ups, and other acts of discomfort, with some saying that the rain has been consistent since Friday morning.
St James and Trelawny in the western section of the island also reported heavy rainfall, though not to the magnitude of the eastern parishes, officials said.
The NWA said that its team is responding to “massive flooding, landslides and mudflows” in the three eastern parishes.
Among the areas affected in Portland are the Rio Grande Valley, where the communities of Cornwall Barracks, Moore Town, Berrydale and Bellevue are now inaccessible due to massive flooding and landslides. Landslides and flooding are also affecting access into the communities of Durham Gap, Shrewsbury, Cooling Spring and Coopers Hill. Flooding has also been experienced in the Black Hill, Lennox, Orange Bay and Canewood areas.
In St Mary, the Junction Road is passable, but continues to be impacted by fallen boulders and ponding. The heavy rain also caused the main road between Richmond and Highgate to be reduced to single lane, while the corridor from Fort George to Cumsee at Long Road was completely blocked by landslides. Flooding has been impacting the Enfield community. Flooding is also impacting the town of Port Maria, where traffic has been diverted onto Cox Street. The main road is flooded in the vicinity of the primary school.
The NWA said that heavy equipment has been deployed to areas where landslides and blocked drains have been determined to be the source of the problem. “While there have been some success in regaining full access to areas, efforts have been stymied as it continues to rain heavily in the parishes, resulting in serious personal safety concerns, which the agency must consider in its response,” the NWA said.