Gills Terrace, St Peter residents had to scramble for their lives in the wee hours of yesterday morning, as raging waters took over their homes, leaving a path of mud and destruction.
High watermarks, traces of debris stuck to the sides of their homes, muddy sludge that had settled in the road and distraught faces met the MIDWEEK NATION team when they arrived on the scene yesterday around the same time as MP for St Peter, Owen Arthur.
Across the road Alvin Robinson’s car was lodged amongst a heap of debris and rubble, after being washed away from the side of his home, straight across the road, stopping only because of a pear tree in its path.
The shocked residents said while they were accustomed to flooding in the area, last night’s showers were unexpected, catching most of them off-guard in the middle of the night.
By 1 a.m. the water, which usually travels from as far as Farley Hill, down to Mount Brevitor, into the White Hall area, The Whim, through Gills Terrace and into the Speightstown canal, seemed to have broken free of its constraints, causing the raging force which Gills Terrace residents experienced.
Homeowners there complained to Arthur of being fed up with the situation and spoke of numerous calls they had made to the Drainage Unit seeking the clearing of trees from a gully in the Whim, less than a quarter mile to the east, so that the water would have clear passage.
“Up to last week someone visited me at Little Battaley’s and I reminded them of the conditions of the Whim. Since [Tropical Storm] Tomas we have been calling them non-stop to clear the Whim and clean the canal, but the workers they have sent just play the fool most of the time,” said an elderly resident, who gave his name only as Atherley.
Edwin Rollock, whose house was among those suffering most damage in the area, said he too was tired of asking for “something to be done”.
His home was not only filled with mud, but the force of water had overturned almost every item in the building.
Rollock’s kitchen presented an almost unbelievable sight, with the fridge, cupboards and other items thrown on the floor, while his stove and saucepans had debris stuck to them.
“I was sleeping and I heard this thing and when I got up, all I could feel was water all around me. So much water was rushing through the front door that I had to rush through the side and when I got out, I couldn’t see anything, just bare water filling the place,” he recalled.
At the house next door the situation was almost the same.
Eversley Wharton said he tried his best to put most of his items on higher ground when the waters started to come in but eventually had to grab his 70-year-old mother and rush out.
“We had no signal at all that this rain was coming. When you see water coming through this area, all you can do is run, because this water don’t mek no sport down here,” he stated.
Wharton said 1984 had been the worst that Gill Terrace residents had experienced in the area, but he concluded that yesterday’s damage was “definitely a close second”.