Cap­ture Land in Parry Town a flood mag­net

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Carl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer

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.

PHOTO BY CARL GILCHRIST

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.

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