For the second time in just over a month sections of Jamaica are experiencing heavy flooding.
Heavy rains have been pelting the island since Sunday and as a result several schools have been closed and life in the island is soaking wet. Prime Minister Andrew Holness has instructed that all national emergency systems to be activated as heavy rainfall continues to affect sections of the island.
The emergency agencies include the National Works Agency (NWA) and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), as well as local representatives.
The prime minister says all the agencies should mobilize their resources to deal with the impact of the extraordinary rain event and to support residents who may need assistance in flooded areas.
The heavy rains have also cause problems for high school students sitting the CAPE and CSEC examinations. Education Minister Ruel Reid this morning advised that the examinations cannot be postponed and advised students to brave the weather and turn out at designated examination centers or their schools.
Meanwhile the island’s Meteorological Service has advised Jamaicans that a Flash Flood Warning is in place for 10 parishes, while a Flash Flood Watch is in place for the other four.
The Flash Flood Warning is in place for low-lying and flood prone areas of St Mary, Portland, St Thomas, Kingston, St Andrew, St Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, St Elizabeth and Westmoreland.
Several roads in the Corporate Area, Clarendon and other parishes are heavily-flooded and impassable while bridges and fords have been completely covered and rendered impassable forced the island’s police to issue warnings for motorists to avoid several areas across the island.
Hanover, St James, Trelawny, and St Ann have been put on Flash Flood Watch. The warning was issued this morning after heavy rains and winds left many areas waterlogged overnight.
A Flash Flood Warning means flooding has been reported or will occur shortly. Motorists and pedestrians should not attempt to cross flooded roadways or other low-lying areas as strong currents are likely, the Met Service cautioned. Residents in low-lying areas should be on the alert for rising waters and be ready to move quickly to higher ground.
The warning remains in place until 5:00 pm today. The Met Service projected light-to-moderate, and at times heavy showers, along with thunderstorms, to affect sections of all parishes until Thursday.