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Jamaica has a $10.6 billion Nicole repair bill / Showers, thunderstorms to hit Jamaica again (High alert for persons living in flood-prone areas) / Nicole casualties climb in Jamaica, Death toll:13 an

PRIME Minister Bruce Golding told the nation a short while ago that infrastructure damaged by Tropical Storm Nicole will cost $10.6 billion to restore.

In an address to parliament Golding outlined how the money would be spent.

"This includes approximately $1.7 billion to effect clearance and immediate works to roads that are blocked or have collapsed as well as structures that pose a danger to life and property," he said.

He said the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries had estimated damage to farm roads at $500 million and loss of crops and livestock at the same amount.

"Damage to schools islandwide is estimated at $100 million and damage to health facilities at $98.5 million. While tourist arrivals during the period were not adversely affected, significant damage was done to beaches and buildings in Negril which is estimated at over US$1 million," said Golding.

The National Works Agency (NWA) also incurred damages of $270 million.

THE Meteorological Service has forecast an increase in showers and thunderstorms for the island starting late tomorrow and continuing through the weekend.

This is due to a broad area of Low Pressure over the eastern Caribbean.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is advising persons living in the following flood-prone areas be on high alert and prepare to evacuate when necessary.

The office is warning persons who live in the following communities to take preparations to relocate to higher ground.

In St Catherine:

  • Thompson Pen (Spanish Town)/Lauriston

  • Tredegar Park

  • Linstead (Sunnyside)

  • Nightingale Grove,

  • Ginger Ridge

  • Bushy Park

  • Central Village

  • Bannister/Big Pond

  • In Clarendon:

  • Four Paths

  • Portland Cottage

  • Alley

  • Bucknor

  • Mitchell Town

  • Rocky Point

  • Milk River

  • York Town

  • Toll Gate/ Bell Pond

  • Rhymesbury

  • Cave Valley

  • Aenon Town

  • Bog Hole

  • Race Track

In Westmoreland:

  • Savanna-la-Mar

  • McNeil’s Land

  • Three Miles River

  • Strathbogie

  • Russia

  • Logwood

  • Big Bridge/Egypt

  • Little London

  • Broughton

  • Old and New Hope

  • Sinclair City

  • Retrieve

  • Smithfield

In Kingston & St Andrew:

  • August Town — Bedward Garden and Goldsmith Villas

  • New Haven

  • Bull Bay

  • Hope — Tavern/Kintyre

In St Ann:

  • Ocho Rios

  • Cave Valley

  • Moneague

  • Pedro River

  • Lime Hall

  • Borobridge

In Trelawny:

  • Wakefield

  • Troy – Tyre community

  • Zion

In St Thomas:

  • Hagley Gap

  • Penlyne Castle

  • Epping Farm

  • Minto

  • Ladies View

  • Minto

  • Llandewey

  • Yallahs Valley

In St Mary:

  • Port Maria

  • Highgate

In Hanover

  • Chigwell

  • Lucea

  • Sandy Bay

  • Success

  • Bamboo

  • Pondside

  • Pierces Village

  • Forest

  • Haddo

In St Elizabeth

  • New Market

  • Arlington

  • Bigwoods

  • Treasure Beach

  • New River

  • Parottee

  • Vineyard

  • Fullerswood

  • Middle Quarters

  • Braes River

  • Maggotty: and

In St James

  • Anchovy

  • Granville

  • Glendevon

  • Somerton

  • Johns Hall

  • Tangle River.

Meanwhile, fishers and other marine interests are advised to exercise caution, as gusty winds and rough seas are likely in the vicinity of showers and thunderstorms.

Members of the public are also being warned to decide on likely evacuation routes now and avoid flooded waterways such as fords, gullies, streams or rivers, either on foot or in vehicles.

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The death toll from the heavy rain associated with what developed into Tropical Storm Nicole continues to climb as more bodies are fished from from flooded waterways and the sea.

Five more bodies were found yesterday, bringing the unofficial death toll to 13, with a further eight persons missing believed dead.

Yesterday morning brought an end to the search for 42-year-old William Bailey and his common-law-wife, 34-year-old Skeeta Young.

They were among six persons declared missing after a two-bedroom house in Sandy Park, St Andrew, collapsed into the Sandy Gully on Wednesday.

The bodies were fished from the sea near Seaview Gardens, St Andrew, shortly before 10 a.m. after they were spotted by residents.

Two other bodies were found later in the day, one at PetroJam off Spanish Town Road, and the other at the waterfront of the Kingston Wharf.

In Seaview Gardens, relatives on the scene had the difficult and painful task of identifying the bloated water-bleached bodies before watching from metres away as on-the-spot post-mortems were conducted.

Bailey and Young were the second and third bodies to be recovered from the collapsed house.

The body of Young's 14-year-old son, Kevani Bailey, trapped under the top floor of the collapsed building, was recovered on Wednesday.

One person from the Sandy Park incident remains missing and is feared among the dead.

Among the dead thus far are Anthony Parnell, Denzel Malcolm, and his nephew, Ryan Malcolm, who were crushed to death when a retaining wall collapsed on the shed where they were sleeping in Norbrook Heights.

Five-year-old Tashanna Wallace died when a tree fell on the house where she was sleeping in Christian Pen, St Catherine. The body of 68-year-old Lenford Blake was found in a drain on Thursday after he was swept away by strong currents in Flagaman district, St Elizabeth.

The body of 63-year-old farmer Rupert Wright of Piper Corner was found in Welcome, Westmoreland, yesterday morning after he was washed away on Wednesday.

The police have also recovered the bodies of two men believed to be of unsound mind who were swept away by the flood waters in Havendale, St Andrew. The police have so far officially confirmed the recovery of only one of those bodies.

The body, believed to be about 60 years old, is about 173 centimetres (5 ft 8 inches) long, of dark complexion, and was clad in a brown pant and blue shirt.

Up to late yesterday, there was no confirmation from the Constabulary Communication Network (CCN) of the recovery of the second body, but cops in the St Andrew North Division told our news centre that the two bodies had been found.

unofficial toll

With that list, The Gleaner's unofficial death count moved to 13, but late yesterday, CCN and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management put the death toll at seven while reporting that 14 persons were missing.

Among those missing is 81-year-old Robert Johnson, who was reportedly washed away in the Gobey Gully on Thursday morning.

Residents said Johnson had gone to use the toilet when he slipped and was washed away by the raging water.

"Is just the residents alone looking for him. We don't see any officials coming to help with the search," a resident of Riversdale told The Gleaner.

"We found some of his clothes but we don't find him yet," the resident said after more rain caused them to postpone the search yesterday afternoon.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is reporting that approximately 437 persons are being housed in 22 shelters across the island.

The shelters are spread across the parishes of St. James, Trelawny, St. Catherine, Kingston and St. Andrew, Westmoreland and St. Mary.

Shelters opened in St. Catherine are the Shiloh Basic School in Lauriston, Ensom City Primary, Old Harbour High, Faith Fire House on Beacon Hill Road (Thompson Pen), Bog Walk High, Spanish Town Primary, Praise Prayer House, and Clifton Basic School.



Persons in Kingston and St. Andrew may access shelters at the Langston Terrace Community Centre, The Holy Rosary Primary School, The Dunoon Technical High School, First Community Church (Kintyre), St. Michaels and Sandy Park Basic Schools.

Shelters have also been established at Holland High School in Trelawny; Eldin Basic School and Little London, Savanna-La-Mar, and Peggy Barry Primary Schools in Westmoreland; Kirk United Church in St. Mary; and the Granville Training Centre in St. James.


The Ministry of Labour is working feverishly to provide assistance to persons in shelters. Other shelters are on standby and will be opened as soon as the need arises.

To date a total of 128 communities have been affected - 76 by flooding, 6 by landslide, 3 by freak storm, 1 by lightning and 1 by storm surge. The others have not been directly impacted, but have been marooned by landslide or flooding. Central parishes have been the worst affected so far.

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A five-year-old girl and three construction workers were crushed to death in two separate incidents Wednesday night and yesterday morning, bringing to six the number of fatalities recorded so far due to heavy showers associated with Tropical Storm Nicole.

The awful death of little Tashanna Wallace hit her grandmother Jerdene Muir real hard, particularly because the two were inseparable.

On Wednesday, like every other night since Tashanna was a baby, the two shared the same pillow on Muir's bed in a small wooden structure in Banga Gully, Christian Pen, in Portmore, despite the fact that the child's mother lives in an adjoining house in the same yard.

Sometime after 8:00 pm when the duo, along with two other family members, retired to bed, the branch of a huge 'Chinese nut' tree fell on the house, crushing the child as she slept.

"Is me and her head deh pon the same pillow, and me just get up to answer a call on my cellphone and by me could do that, me just hear a loud noise and the house top just come down," a tearful Muir told the Observer.

Muir said it took what seemed like forever to dig the child out from the rubble.

"From me see her neck drop over so when them teck her out, me know she dead," she said.

Muir said Tashanna's 10-year-old brother was determined to help dig her out, working alongside the men in the pouring rain to free her.

"Him say him nah stop till him find him sister, and him really work to get her out," she said, explaining further that it took a while to remove the many concrete blocks which, before the tragedy, were holding down the zinc on the roof.

Tashanna's mother, Kadesha McKenzie, said she had just found the money to buy uniform and school supplies for her daughter who had only just resumed classes at Hamilton Gardens Basic School.

McKenzie described Tashanna, who was the younger of her two children, as a fun-loving little girl who acted way older than her age and always made those around her laugh.

She is convinced that Tashanna might have had a premonition about her death, as earlier that day she kept telling everyone that today was her "born day" (the day she was born).

"Me never hear she say that before, and she just ah go round and a laugh and say is me born day as if she did know what was going to happen to her," McKenzie said, her eyes filled with tears.

The other occupants of houses in the yard, while distraught at the child's death, were particularly angry at the owner of the adjoining premises where the huge tree is rooted.

According to the irate residents, they begged the owner on several occasions to trim the overhanging branches but he refused to do so.

Muir told the Observer that she had asked the owner to trim the tree after a branch fell from it and damaged her house a few years ago. But instead of cutting the overhanging branches, Muir said he threatened a lawsuit against anyone who dared to cut a limb.

"When we point out the danger, him say if anyone cut him tree him carrying dem go to court, and see what happen now," said one irate resident.

During the interview, a group of men was busy removing the overhanging branches from the tree. The owner was nowhere in sight as he was said to be currently living overseas.

Councillor for the Gregory Park division Camile Buchanan, who arrived at the house shortly after the incident, said she had arranged and paid for the men to remove the overhanging branches from the tree as it still posed a threat to a number of other houses.

"The majority of the tree could still fall on the other houses, so I had to arrange to have it cut," she told the Observer.

Buchanan also said she has already spoken with labour and social security minister Pearnel Charles, who has given his commitment to assist the family to rebuild their house and to provide any other assistance possible. She said she had also made contact with Food for the Poor to get relief supplies for the family.

In the second incident, Anthony Pernell, Denzel Malcolm, and Ryan Malcolm — who were all from St James addresses — died after a retaining wall crumbled onto a shed in which they were sleeping in Norbrook, St Andrew yesterday morning.

People at the scene told the Observer that the soil beneath the retaining wall — which stood metres from the shed — was eroded by rainwater, causing the wall to give way and fall on the structure.

Fire-fighters removed the men's bodies from beneath the rubble, taking them to lower ground where they were processed by the police.

Gary Vassell, one of the workmen on the site, cried openly as he reflected on the tragedy.

Vassell had opted to sleep in his car after repeatedly expressing concerns to his colleagues about the safety of the shed.

"I never like how the shed felt last night, something just tell me not to sleep there," recounted Vassell.

"A part of the house (which they were working on) is finished and they could have gone in there to sleep," he grieved. "But I guess they felt more comfortable in the shed, and never wanted to move."

The daughter of one of the dead men fought back tears when police prevented her from seeing her father's body. The despondent woman leaned onto a motor vehicle with a blank stare.

Residents at the scene expressed fear for their lives and property following the incident.

"These rains are serious. Look what happen to them man here. I just pray my little tabernacle stay safe," said one woman, who described the men as "good persons".

On Wednesday, flood waters from Tropical Storm Nicole took the lives of 14-year-old Keniji Boyd in St Andrew and 73-year-old St Elizabeth farmer Lenford Blake.

Yesterday, Observer Editor-at Large Garfield Myers reported that Nicole left a trail of devastation in St Elizabeth and Manchester.

The communities of Bigwoods, Vineyard and Arlington, all in South West St Elizabeth, are marooned, while flood waters forced many families from their homes in Parottee.

Roads all over St Elizabeth have been badly damaged, making it difficult to get to many communities, while in New Market water continues to rise at an alarming rate.

Mandevile Mayor Brenda Ramsay, in describing the situation in South Manchester, said: "Something terrible is happening there. If you see Alligator Pond, you cry."

Officials in both parishes told the Observer that part of the problem they are having is that they can't make a proper assessment of the damage until the rains end.

The Observer was also informed that many communities in St Elizabeth and Manchester have no water.

Yesterday, Dr Christopher Tufton, the member of parliament for South West St Elizabeth, said he intends to call a meeting as soon as possible of the relevant agencies involved in development to discuss the approvals process.

"It is very clear to me that in a number of places it is the blocking and dumping up of the natural run-off that is causing the kind of flooding we are seeing in some of these areas," Tufton said.

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FLOOD waters killed two persons yesterday and swept away six others, who are feared dead, as Tropical Storm Nicole drenched the entire island, destroying infrastructure, property and crops that will likely amount to millions of dollars in losses.

Last night, the Meteorological Service warned Jamaicans to brace for more showers and thunderstorms which, it said, would continue to affect the island for the next 48 hours.

"Rainfall data indicate that accumulations in excess of 100 millimetres collected over a 12-hour period have been recorded at various weather stations across the island," the Met Service said in a late evening news release.

The dead persons were yesterday identified as 14-year-old Keniji Boyd of St Andrew and 73-year-old St Elizabeth farmer Lenford Blake.

Residents of Flagaman in St Elizabeth said Blake, who was deaf, was having drinks with friends in a bar in that community when heavy rains started about midnight Wednesday. He decided to cross the road, which was under water that had spilled over from a gully, despite being discouraged by his friends. He was swept into a culvert.

His body was found further down the hill yesterday morning with broken bones.

Yesterday, his grandniece Shauna Reynolds described him as a "very kind, gentle, loving, caring person" who would always give from his farm to anyone in need.

Boyd was one of six persons living in a house in Sandy Park near Liguanea, St Andrew which collapsed into a gully during the heavy downpour early yesterday morning.

The others — William Bailey, his common-law wife Skeeta Young, 34 and children Brandy Fritz, 11; Kevani and Sedani Bailey, four and six respectively — were swept away by the angry flood waters and were still missing up to press time last night.

News of the tragedy left scores of people in the community in shock, among them Daisy Young, a diabetic 55-year-old, who said her daughter and grandchildren were among those missing.

"All now me cannot come to me senses," said Young. "A sleep me a sleep and me hear me daughter scream yu nuh man, and a call for her help."

Young, tears rolling down her cheeks, said when she opened her door to look, her daughter's house was gone.

The sixth person missing and feared dead is an unidentified young man who attempted to cross a flooded ford at Harbour View and was overcome by the force of the flood waters.

"Jesus!" screamed one lady who was among scores of shocked onlookers who watched in horror as he was swept away.

"Look how the man go give away him life," said one man.

Yesterday, two fishermen from Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth, who went out to sea in an attempt to ride out the storm, were reported to be stranded about a mile off Dilly's Bay.

The Observer was told that one of them has fallen seriously ill and needs medical attention. However, the turbulent sea and poor visibility are preventing their rescue by either boat or helicopter.

In Spanish Town, St Catherine, the only access to the Brunswick community was via the dug-out shell of two old refrigerators which young men skilfully manoeuvred through the waist-high muddy water gushing throughout the lanes and into houses.

Rosemarie Willis, who ventured through the knee-deep water to stand with the group of curious onlookers on the other side, watched helplessly as water seeped into her house, where her mother was still trapped.

"All of me daughter GSAT (Grade Six Achievement Test) books them wet up, over $12,000 worth. What me going to do now," she lamented.

The residents are terrified that they could drown in their homes if the rain continues into Friday as forecast.

"Is from ten last night (Wednesday) this water stay so and see all now it not even a draw," said one resident, pointing to a watermark at the top of a five-foot wall.

Councillor for the area Althea Tomlinson blamed the rising flood waters on an inadequate and poorly maintained drainage system.

"The entire Crescent division is affected by a drain problem and I am tired of complaining about it and nothing is being done," she told the Observer as she stood with a group of residents watching helplessly as the water continued to rise.

Meanwhile, a trek on foot through the Bog Walk Gorge revealed that Flat Bridge was completely covered with water which spilled over from the Rio Cobre unto a large section of the roadway, dumping tonnes of sand and mud in some sections.

Although the flood gates — which are to be closed when the Gorge is impassable — remained open, not even the bravest of motorists dared to venture into the Gorge.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management yesterday reported that a group of persons was trapped in the Gorge since Tuesday evening, but up to press time it was still not clear if they were rescued.

The situation was equally grave in Lauriston where 32 persons were sheltering at the Shiloah Basic School after the angry, swirling waters from the Rio Cobre drove them from their homes in the wee hours of yesterday morning.

Councillor for Lauriston Keisha Lewis said the community of Waterloo was also under serious threat of being flooded as there was a major problem with the drains.

"We are concerned that the water level is rising and with the rain expected to continue for a few days the residents are getting themselves in a state of readiness to leave if they have to," she told the Observer.

On Mandela Highway several trees were downed along the busy thoroughfare while there was major flooding in some sections.

The rains left several roads in St Mary impassable and cut off many communities.

Mayor of Port Maria Richard Creary told the Observer that while there were no reports of major flooding, a number of roads in the parish were blocked by landslides and fallen trees and that some road surfaces were also badly scoured.

Among the roads affected were Richmond, Junction, Halifax, Coffee Gully, Derry, Border, Platfield, Jones Rock, Lucky Hill, Bernard, Barracks River, Enfield and Carron Hall.

In St Elizabeh, water was reported to be rising in New Market; 125 families were said to have been flooded out in Braes River; some sections of the capital town Black River, including the hospital compound, were said to be under water from sea surges; while a number of roads in the Maggotty, Lacovia area were blocked by water from the Black River.

The Great Pond in Treasure Beach is overflowing with rising water and the drain canal that has been under construction for four years but has not been completed is not helping, residents said.

Roads in Manchester were also said to be under water, while sea surges were reported to have damaged a section of the popular Little Ochi restaurant.

Residents of Downs also reported that two houses lost their roofs to what they said was a "mini tornado" Wednesday night, while extensive damage was done to the roofs of four other houses.

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Comment by SERIOUSWOMAN on October 7, 2010 at 1:25pm
Believe it are not God is allowing this to come about because of the hate they have toward one another as black people we must come together no matters what culture we maybe we are all on black people!!!! All black culture hates black American notice only them God is dealing with because black American love all black people no matter what culture they are .....people please wake up we must start to love each other and help one another as a people.
Comment by byron/gal on October 6, 2010 at 4:34pm
omg..only GOD can help out there at this time..
Comment by Stacy on October 5, 2010 at 8:51pm
that country is plagued.
Comment by Chris Sampson on October 5, 2010 at 9:29am
Jamaica .. Haiti .... what the difference i never even knew this was happening. to the western media its just some more black people dying, and so what . Anywhere else like in Europe it would have been a big story, its just black folks ..no biggy
Comment by Angela Midgette David on October 4, 2010 at 12:30pm
@Amy, as witnessed in New Orleans!
Comment by Big Shot... on October 3, 2010 at 5:11am
My prayers go out to them.. Big-Up Jamaica!!!
Comment by JamRockLady on October 2, 2010 at 11:42am
My prayers go out to my beloved Jamaican citizens and their friends and family members around the world, during this tragic ordeal.
Comment by Justice ' Ali- EL on October 2, 2010 at 2:33am
GOD BLESS JAMAICA THE ILSAND WE LOVE ......
Comment by LONDON on October 1, 2010 at 6:04pm
hold di faith
Comment by levon smith on October 1, 2010 at 2:33pm
God knows best. My prayer to the family of the victims. This little girl is so beautiful, her parents must be devastated.

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