Gov­ern­ment acts to re­duce f lood­ing im­pact

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Christo­pher Serju Gleaner Writer

THE LO­CAL gov­ern­ment min­istry was yes­ter­day tak­ing con­crete steps to en­sure that any flood­ing along Mar­cus Gar­vey Drive in St An­drew would be min­imised dur­ing the im­pend­ing pas­sage of Hur­ri­cane Matthew on Mon­day.

Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Des­mond McKen­zie was over­see­ing clean-up op­er­a­tions in the Tivoli Gully, where im­prove­ment works have been on­go­ing, when The Gleaner vis­ited. China Har­bour En­gi­neer­ing Com­pany (CHEC) had dou­bled its work­force on the bridge which chan­nels waste wa­ter into the sea as part of ef­forts to mit­i­gate the po­ten­tially dis­as­trous im­pact of the storm.

“We a try fi get the con­crete up and run­ning by to­mor­row fi cast the bridge be­cause, with the con­crete now, we can re­lease the iron bar (scaf­fold­ing) so the wa­ter can flow free. We dou­ble the staff and we a do 24-hour shift fi do it,” Lolo, a Ja­maican su­per­vi­sor on the road re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion project told The Gleaner.

He ex­plained that the team do­ing the work had par­tially blocked the Tivoli Gully in or­der to re­duce the wa­ter flow, which was nec­es­sary to fa­cil­i­tate es­tab­lish­ment of the scaf­fold­ing net­work nec­es­sary to sup­port the cast­ing of the bridge.

McKen­zie was over­see­ing the work as heavy-duty op­er­a­tors worked to clear the chan­nel of garbage, a process he de­scribed as proac­tive.

“The chal­lenge with the other day (when rains caused se­ri­ous flood­ing in the area), it is not just be­cause of the de­bris but the fact that the con­struc­tion work was tak­ing place and there was some dis­lo­ca­tion. What we are do­ing now is to en­sure that if and when the rains come, we are in a bet­ter po­si­tion to con­trol the flood­ing. So we are go­ing to be hav­ing equip­ment that is go­ing to be sta­tioned here dur­ing the hur­ri­cane so that as any­thing hap­pens, they will be able to re­spond,” said McKen­zie.

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