Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the estimates for flood damage as a result of the passage of Tropical Storm Elsa over the weekend has amounted to $803 million.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday (Tuesday, July 6, 2021), Prime Minister Holness said the report tendered by the National Works Agency (NWA) is preliminary as the Agency continues damage assessment to determine the cost for permanent repairs. He pointed out that the assessment to date is divided into two categories; cost to clean and clear roadways and drains of silt and debris and secondly, cost to make roads accessible.
Over the course of two weeks, the Ministry of Local Government and the relevant agencies will undertake cleaning and clearing of roadways and drainage systems. In that regard the Prime Minister stated, that assessments are being done to determine the damage to major road networks across the country.
So far, over 25 road networks between the parishes of St. Ann, St. Mary, Portland, St. Thomas and St. Catherine have been greatly affected.
Therefore, Prime Minister Holness urged all members of parliament to move quickly in assisting the NWA in completing the first phase of the disaster mitigation programme which the Government has allocated $100 million.
“I want to urge us all to have these activities completed within the next 21 days so that we will be in a better position for the rest of the season. While we have suffered damage, we know that it could have been much worse. I thank God for sparing us from the worst effects of this storm”, said Prime Minister Holness.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister also encouraged Jamaicans to take seriously the unpredictability of the hurricane season and make every preparation necessary.
The Prime Minister said;
“If you have not already done so, ensure you have access to critical supplies, fix leaks and undertake the necessary repairs to roofs, ensure drains are clear and for those in low lying and flood prone areas, plan your evacuation routes to activate at short notice.”