MONTEGO BAY, St. James (July 26, 2017): The St. James Municipal Corporation will be expending approximately $18.5 million for its drain-cleaning exercise as preparation for the 2017 hurricane season.
The drain-cleaning exercise will cover the local authority's 17 parochial divisions and will roll out on during the first week of August 2017.
At the monthly Disaster Preparedness, Hazard Mitigation and Safety Committee meeting that was held on Thursday July 21, 2017, Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Homer Davis informed the meeting that the allocation is a dedicated, committed fund from the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development and ‘each Councillor has received equal amounts to assist with drain cleaning in their respective divisions.’
“I am very pleased at this time for the consideration, for we are now in the hurricane season, and must have an effective drain-cleaning programme in place to decrease the possibility of flooding throughout the period,” Stated Mayor Davis.
According to Mayor Davis, with regards to how St. James, and Montego Bay in particular, is usually affected by heavy rains, the amount may not necessarily be enough, but will help put some remedial, preventative measures in place. Another tranche equaling the 18.5 million will be allocated in October 2017.
As part of proactive programme, some shelter managers across St. James were also exposed to training through the Corporation’s Planning and Disaster Preparedness Unit on July 13 and 14, 2017. First Aid training was also carried out on July 20 and 21, 2017 at the Municipal building.
According to weather.com, the number of tropical storms and hurricanes forecasted to develop in the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has increased in the latest forecast issued by the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project.
At total of 15 named storms and eight hurricanes are now expected in the Atlantic basin; three of the eight hurricanes are forecast to be Category 3 or stronger.