Haunted by Sandy mem­o­ries

An­notto Bay not tak­ing any chances this time around

Jamaica Gleaner - - MAPPING MATTHEW - Livern Bar­rett and Akino Ming Gleaner Writ­ers

IN OC­TO­BER 2012 as Hur­ri­cane Sandy bar­relled to­wards Ja­maica, some res­i­dents in the sea­side town of An­notto Bay, St Mary, re­mained adamant they would not re­lo­cate.

But nearly four years later, with Hur­ri­cane Matthew, the pow­er­ful Cat­e­gory Four sys­tem, creep­ing closer to the is­land, some of those same res­i­dents were not tak­ing that chance again.

An­gela Rogers re­counted the near-death ex­pe­ri­ence she and mem­bers of her fam­ily en­dured dur­ing Sandy and ad­mit­ted that re­ports of the ap­proach­ing sys­tem have left her ter­ri­fied.

“The last time the whole a dah side a the house lift off. From morn­ing mi nuh eat ... . Mi nuh want fi have dat ex­pe­ri­ence again,” said Rogers.

She was among sev­eral res­i­dents in Port Arthur and Sand lanes who worked fever­ishly late yes­ter­day to se­cure their homes, ei­ther with sand­bags or sheets of ply­wood.

“I don’t want the next two years come catch me here. Me def­i­nitely ’fraid. Me a fret,” Rogers said.

An­other res­i­dent, So­nia Tyrell, re­called how high tide from Hur­ri­cane Sandy en­gulfed her home.

“The sea come in pan we an sweep through the house and throw mi dung a ground,” she said.

IT’S NO JOKE

This time, Tyrell said she was tak­ing hur­ri­cane warn­ings from the Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Ser­vice se­ri­ously.

“To wah dem a show we pan TV, a no some­thing fi play with,” she said. “Da one yah more se­ri­ous than Sandy.”

Yes­ter­day, Tyrell and other rel­a­tives were rush­ing to grab per­sonal be­long­ings to stay with other fam­ily mem­bers.

Other res­i­dents were busy dis­man­tling houses and mov­ing into shel­ters as they braced for the hur­ri­cane.

Near the sea­side on Port Arthur Lane in the com­mu­nity, Sophia Rick­etts stacked her

zinc to­gether as her son’s fa­ther pulled her one-room home down.

“Sandy mash up mi house the last time and a what used to be my shop mi live in now. Mi clothes dem did mess up and mi live in here since then,” Rick­etts said.

She told The Gleaner that she was not tak­ing any chances this time.

“Mi nah tek nuh chance this time. Di last time, it tek off mi pot off a fire,” she said.

An­other res­i­dent said he has done ev­ery­thing he pos­si­bly could to pre­pare.

“Mi do ev­ery­thing al­ready: plas­tic up mi im­por­tant pa­pers and put board over the

win­dows,” Ken­roy Hamil­ton of Pur­cell Lane in An­notto Bay said.

Four years ago, Hur­ri­cane Sandy de­stroyed sev­eral homes along the shore­line of the com­mu­nity. Some of the af­fected res­i­dents were re­lo­cated.

Mean­while, res­i­dents from a num­ber of sea­side com­mu­ni­ties in St Mary have sought refuge at An­notto Bay High School, which is an emer­gency shel­ter.

Their de­ci­sion to re­lo­cate came as heavy rains and high winds started to in­ten­sify in An­notto Bay, Port Maria and other parts of the parish.

IAN ALLEN/PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

A res­i­dent of Port Arthur Lane in An­notto Bay, St Mary, dis­man­tles her house along the sea­side board by board.

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