Wed | Sep 23, 2020

Capture Land in Parry Town a flood magnet

Published:Wednesday | June 10, 2020 | 1:04 PMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer
A section of Capture Land in Parry Town, St Ann, showing a playing field which is usually flooded during heavy rains, with the water affecting several households nearby, which are located on a lower level.
A section of Capture Land in Parry Town, St Ann, showing a playing field which is usually flooded during heavy rains, with the water affecting several households nearby, which are located on a lower level.

In 2018, when the area known as Capture Land in Parry Town, St Ann, was last flooded, dozens of persons were severely affected.

With the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season predicted to be above normal, persons living in the community are concerned that they may once again face the ravages of flood waters.

The forecast is for between 13 and 19 named storms, with six to 10 of them becoming hurricanes with winds of 74 miles per hour or higher, and three to six major hurricanes, with winds of at least 111 miles per hour.

The Capture Land area is a flood magnet because of the topography of the community. Located in a valley and surrounded by mountainous terrain on two sides, water naturally settles in the community and stays for days before dissipating.

“The land is flat and the drains need cleaning,” Andrea Stewart, a resident of the community, told The Gleaner. She believes that getting the drains cleaned would help, and said this needs to be done to prevent the over 500 residents being flooded out again, should there be heavy showers.

NO GREAT PROBLEM

“Yes, we need like the drains to clean and all those things. We nuh really have no great problem now; used to, not again. Normally, Mr Bell (Ian Bell, councillor for the Beecher Town division in which Parry Town falls), would come een come clean di drain, di major drains dem an’ all ah dat.”

But according to Bell, the issue goes way beyond mere drain cleaning and speaks to the need for a much bigger and more extensive project.

“Drains don’t have anything to do with stopping that flooding because there is something blocking (the flow) across the road,” Bell pointed out.

“We would have to bust the entire road to get into that area. The area is flat so the waters come from the hillsides and flood it. The road has to be cut and a big culvert put in,” he added.

Meanwhile, when the issue of relocation was put to residents, it was flatly rejected by one resident.

“Although we nuh own di land, we spen’ money fi set up we self, fi build we likkle shelter wha we have, so we cyaa jus’ get up an’ leave all a dat,” said one gentlemen who declined to give his name.

Stewart, however, declined to speak on the issue.

“I don’t know what to tell you about that, yuh know. I can’t tell you anything concerning that right now,” she stated.