Do not blame flooding in Montego Bay, St. James yesterday (Mar 9), on politicians.
That was the sentiment by some Montego Bay residents, after heavy rains yesterday evening, left at least 3 sections of the second city with damaged road surfaces, washed away cars, inundated buildings and a power cut.
The Opposition PNP has also been cautioned to get their facts right on the situation in Montego Bay.
Several businesses along St. James Street, Union Street, Harbour Street and Market Street were flooded.
Water on Orange Street in the vicinity of Cornwall College and the Hope Hospice reportedly made the area impassable.
The road surface was also damaged, with sections of asphalt lifted and some small potholes turned into what residents call craters.
Further reports are that about 6 motor vehicles were washed away, including one that a woman claimed she had to hastily exit, when she entered Orange Street and saw a large body of water coming at her.
Yesterday’s flooding also caused a traffic pile up on some streets, damaged utility poles which resulted in disrupted electricity, and pedestrians stranded for several hours.
This flooding comes just months after the St. James Municipal Corporation carried out a multimillion dollar drain cleaning operation, in the wake of another massive flood event.
In a statement today, Opposition Spokesperson on Local Government Dr. Angella Brown Burke chastised the government, saying had taken it taken its responsibility seriously, necessary actions would have been taken to ensure that the drains were cleaned and flood mitigation systems put in place.
She says reports that the absence of a coordinated and deliberate drain cleaning programme from the municipal corporation made a bad situation worse, are unacceptable.
Dr. Brown Burke called for enforcement of anti-litter regulations and for government to provide the funds necessary to clean the drains in Montego Bay.
However, a Montego Bay resident has defended the Corporation.
And, in response to Dr. Brown Burke, Mayor Homer Davis says the Opposition spokesperson, needs to get her facts straight.
Meantime, Mayor Davis toured sections of Montego Bay today to assess the damage caused by yesterday’s flood.
He says flooding near Cornwall College is a recurring issue, due to the areas natural geography. The area remains inundated.
Mayor Davis says flood waters in Downtown Montego Bay have receded and things are returning to normal.