KSAC makes preparations for hurricanes

Claudienne Edwards

A house flattened by Hurricane Sandy last October is seen in this file photo. The Kingston and St Andrew Corporation says it has identified 132 shelters in the Corporate Area to accommodate displaced people in the event of a hurricane. (OBSERVER FILE PHOTO)

THE Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) says it has identified 132 shelters and has allocated $32.3 million to clean the most critical drains and gullies in preparation for what is expected to be a very active hurricane season.

The disclosure was made by deputy mayor, Andrew Swaby, at Tuesday’s monthly meeting of the council at its Church Street, downtown Kingston, headquarters.

Swaby told the council that 13 of the shelters in Kingston and St Andrew had been designated as priority shelters. They are the St Benedict’s Primary School, Edith Dalton James High School, Friendship Brooks, Harbour View Primary School, National Arena, Stony Hill HEART Academy, Golden Spring Community Centre, Kintyre Community Centre, Hall’s Delight All- Age School, West Phalia All-Age School, Sommerset All-Age School, Bito All-Age School, and Blacksborough All-Age and Infant School.

He said that the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), the National Works Agency (NWA), the Public Health Department, the Red Cross, and other stakeholders were partnering with the KSAC to conduct shelter inspections and training.

“All stakeholders have started mitigation efforts and are partnering with the KSAC to conduct shelter inspections, facilitate refresher trainings, trainings in respect of extrication, firefighting and rescue, as well as mobilising community emergency response teams,” Swaby disclosed.

The deputy mayor said that the public was being sensitised by way of presentations being made in communities and at schools and business places.

Meanwhile, in respect of the $32.3 million to be spent in phase one on cleaning gullies and drains, the KSAC will be focusing on gullies in the Harbour View and Bull Bay areas running along the sea coast.

Other critical channels include the stretch of gully running from the Mother White Bridge going down to the sea, as well as the Boucher Gully and the Nutmeg Gully.