NWA clears landslide that marooned over 4,000 people in Portland

BY EVERARD OWEN Observer correspondent

Sunday, March 19, 2017    

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LONDON, Portland — The National Works Agency (NWA) yesterday cleared in London, Portland road of large boulders that had left more than 4,000 residents of Moore Town and Cornwall Barracks marooned from about 2:00 am.

The Jamaica Observer was told that the land started slipping from last Tuesday when the parish was under flash flood watch.

“I came down with my wife in the car and we saw a car parked there, so we thought the driver ran out of gas. We came out to help and realised that the road is blocked,” Pastor Stanley Wilson, who lives in Cornwall Barracks, told the Sunday Observer.

A taxi driver said he encountered the blocked road about 3:00 am when he responded to a call to take someone to Cornwall Barracks.

He recalled that in November 2005 four houses were washed from the hillside and two from below the road into the Rio Grande. “So it is known that here always has landslides,” he said. “It is the first time I have ever seen it this big.”

Member of Parliament Dr Lynvale Bloomfield, who was on the scene, said he received a call about the blockage early yesterday morning and he contacted the NWA.

“I am expecting the heavy-duty equipment to come in and clear the area as soon as possible so that vehicles can go in. About four to five thousand people are marooned inside Moore Town and Cornwall Barracks. I have spoken to the works agency about the large boulders and they are aware of what is expected,” he said.

At West Retreat, heavy rain Friday night undermined repair work that had started four weeks ago on a section of the road that had collapsed in 2015.

Carlton Fairclough, who is supervising the construction of gabion baskets and a wall, said the affected section should be filled in by tomorrow. “It is very serious, but it can be repaired. It will be done by Monday and we will be using engineering material,” he said, adding that the breakaway is about seven metres deep.





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