Jamaica: $800m flood bill

Flood damage in at least six parishes swamped by rains unleashed by the diverting Tropical Storm Elsa has been preliminarily billed at $800 million, but that figure is set to mount as more comprehensive reports stream in, highly placed government sources have revealed.

That price tag is lower than the more than $8 billion in devastation wreaked by the double assault of Eta and Zeta in October and November 2020 which caused colossal damage to the nation’s roads and farms.

Christopher Gordon was among several householders stranded on Monday as the Big Pond in Bannister, St Catherine, flooded sections of the main road, preventing him from attending his cousin’s funeral at a family plot in a neighbouring community.

Gordon did not want to miss the final rites but skipped the funeral for fear that his Honda Stream motor vehicle would sustain significant damage if he tried to plough through the expanse of water.

That dismay was even more emphatic because Jamaicans have been barred from hosting funerals because of COVID-19 gathering restrictions that have taken an emotional toll on hundreds of families. That ban was only relaxed on July 1.


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