Flooding affects popular MoBay hotel

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Flooding affects popular MoBay hotel

Monday, October 19, 2020

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ST JAMES, Jamaica — After a massive downpour of rain today, several roads in Montego Bay, St James have been left blocked by flood waters and debris. This includes a popular hotel in Montego Bay, which, in a viral video, saw employees assisting in reducing flooding at the property.

When OBSERVER ONLINE spoke with Frank Sondern, the regional director forRIU Reggae, Montego Bay, he said that today has been “a lot”.

“The entire hotel flooded out on the ground floor and it is due to poor drainage that comes from behind gas station and Blue Diamond and turns RIU Reggae into a wild river. We are cleaning. We didn't have to send any guest anywhere. We reacted on time. We are serving dinner and still cleaning the lobby. The only thing is that we have to relocate guests from lower floor to higher floors and continue cleaning. The restaurant and the kitchen was not affected so we are able to serve dinner to our guest,” explained the regional director.

Arthur Lynch, Chairman for the Disaster Management Committee at the St James Municipal Corporation told OBSERVER ONLINE that an emergency meeting has been called at the St James Municipal Corporation to assess the damage and mitigate further damage.

He further explained that the city has been doing assessments of the drains in the parish to ensure that they are prepared for the hurricane season, however this heavy downpour was unexpected and may have carried debris from miles away.

“As it relates to the drain, after we had our disaster management meeting, the roads and works supervisor was doing an assessment of all the drainage throughout our municipality. We accumulated the funding where necessary. We are in the hurricane season and councillors would have done drain cleaning from their parochial revenue fund but the excessive downpour today would have caused a heavier flow of water. For example, the North Gully that is adjacent or in the vicinity of the KFC, now all that water would have gone as far as Salt Spring coming over into Cornwall Courts and from Cornwall Courts to Green Pond main road; and from there to King Street and then in the reverse. And for the water affecting the popular hotel, that water is coming from a place called Flower Hill through various trenches and drains,” explained Lynch.

Two of the roads featured in the viral videos were Cornwall Courts and Green Pond which were impassable due to heavy flooding. In response, Lynch said: “I can recall that MP Heroy Clarke would have spent J$10.5 million doing a section of the Green Pond drain. We would have cleaned one of the major drains last week in expectation of the season. We have an active eye that is coming our way so we are doing the necessary. Based on video that we have received from the various divisions; as I have not gone on the road to see it, you will find that along the Green Pond Road to Cornwall Courts, there have been some debris there. Along Bryan's Drive in the Montego Bay South East area, you'll find debris on the roadway.”

“We will be activating some clearing of the roadways tomorrow with the assistance of the National Works Agency depending on the damage. I am not sure if we have any land slippage but tomorrow we will know for sure,” he further advised.

Onome Sido


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