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KSAMC team to identify Bull Bay areas suited for construction

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KSAMC team to identify Bull Bay areas suited for construction

BY KIMONE FRANCIS
Senior staff reporter
francisk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

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MAYOR of Kingston Senator Delroy Williams says a team has been collecting data in the Bull Bay area of St Andrew, to determine spaces suited for construction following Sunday’s widescale flooding in a section of the Nine Miles community.

“We have been having several meetings across the municipality and those will continue. We are collecting data now, under our Local Area Development Plan, for the general Bull Bay area. We are also collecting data on Kintyre, Dallas and Gordon Town [in St Andrew], that will help us with our planning in terms of land usage,” Williams said.

“So, from that, we will be able to say what areas we recommend for development; what areas certainly not. In some areas, we’ll be able to say only certain types of development will be allowed. There are issues with the soil type in Bull Bay, and there are issues with floodplains and the control of storm water,” he added.

Williams spoke to the Jamaica Observer on Monday, following a walk-through of the community in which several residents have been dislocated after the nearby Chalky River breached its banks, dumping tonnes of silt and debris in houses on Weise Road.

The devastation in the community, which links the parishes of St Andrew and St Thomas, was triggered by the outer bands of Tropical Storm Eta, which deposited heavy rainfall on the island over the weekend.

Residents have insisted that substandard desilting work being done by men in the channels of the river is to be blamed for the flooding.

On Monday, they mounted roadblocks on the main thoroughfare in the community, demanding that their political representatives address the issue.

Meanwhile, the mayor said there are heightened concerns at the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation following an advisory from the Meteorological Service of Jamaica of potential rain that is likely to impact the island in the coming days.

Communities across the Corporate Area are prone to suffer more damage, he cautioned, as a result.

“We are very concerned because the soil is supersaturated and that has already resulted in several landslides. We have had to be waiting to clear several, because they are now offering some level of support for the soil above them. So right now it’s not the case where we can just go and clear them as they occur, because if we do that we may create further instability in the soil above and trigger further landslides,” the mayor explained.

At the same time, he is appealing to residents to limit movement, where possible.

“I am appealing to residents in these areas that if, at all possible, you don’t have to go out, remain indoors because the frequency from the vibration of vehicular traffic can also create instability in the already saturated soil and cause more landslides. It’s a very fragile situation and so we’re moving cautiously,” he stated.

The mayor said the corporation is, at this time, exploring alternative routes, especially in the Gordon Town area where the main road has been reduced to pedestrian traffic.

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