Black Immigrant Daily News
Local Government officials are ensuring residents of the St Mary seaside town of Port Maria, that efforts are ongoing to eliminate the likelihood of flooding in the parish capital.
Emergency funding from the St Mary Municipal Corporation (SMMC) was recently used to conduct drain-cleaning exercises and rehabilitation works in the town to aid in the effort, Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Desmond McKenzie, has said.
Approximately 250 households in Port Maria were impacted by wide-scale flooding in February of this year, with damage to furniture and electronics, while many business operators also incurred significant losses.
In addressing this week’s Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Port Maria that was hosted by the SMMC, McKenzie said it was appropriate to commence rehabilitation and drain-cleaning work along Warner Street and Main Street in Port Maria.
“Now, out of the emergency funding for the municipal corporation, close to some $10 million was spent to fix over 75 metres of this banking here (in Port Maria),” he revealed.
“You’ve seen where they have put in new walls, they have now packed heavy stones that they brought in from Portland to strengthen to the area, and as you can see, by looking at what was done, is that this has made tremendous contribution to eliminate flooding, to the extent that used to take place in this area,” McKenzie stated.
For his part, Port Maria Mayor, Richard Creary, pointed to a garbage skip along the roadway that was recently relocated to prevent blockage of the drains by excess garbage.
In noting that the residents are “pleased” with its removal, Creary said the National Water Commission (NWC) also played a critical role in the move, as they relocated water pipes to accommodate the skip at its current location.
“So, what we doing, we going to build a concrete base, we going to elevate a wall around the skip, so that if there is any overflow of garbage, it will not end up in the drain, because that is always one of the things that create a problem with this drain,” he explained.
Creary, who is also Chairman of the SMMC, said when the drain is filled with garbage, “it blocks the culvert under the road, and no water can’t run out, so water tends to rise in this area.”
Since the February flood event in the town, there has been no significant report of flooding there.