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Memory of losing girlfriend comes flooding back

Memory of losing girlfriend comes flooding back

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Anytime heavy rains fall in Buccament and the roar of the river can be heard, sad memories flood Conrad Jack’s head.

Jack and his girlfriend Shirla Edwards were swept away by the raging waters of the Buccament River during the hundred-year weather event on December 24, 2013 and while Jack survived the harrowing ordeal, his girlfriend’s body was never recovered and she is presumed dead.

Last week as persons readied themselves for the passage of Tropical Storm Matthew, Jack was visiting with friends Norma Browne and her daughter Maureen Browne. The Brownes live on the river’s bank and are themselves afraid of what can happen when heavy rains come.{{more}}

Sadly remembering, Jack said that on December 24, 2013, he and his girlfriend had some good luck in that they had won EC$4,000 playing the National Lotteries Authority’s (NLA) 3D game. He told SEARCHLIGHT that they went to Kingstown where they did some shopping for Christmas.

But on arrival at their Buccament home, their good luck was dampened by flood waters which smashed through their home and spilt it in two. The couple were swept away and Jack said that he tried to hold on to his better half, but was struck in the head by a log and was forced to let her go.

“She went one way and I went one way,” recalls Jack, who said that he was underneath the water for a while struggling, as he was being held under by a piece of wood.

He said that after a while, he gave up, but when he felt his foot touch something solid, he held onto a piece of barbed wire.

“I tugged it three times and when I realized it was stable I held onto it and I bawled out and somebody stretched and pulled me over…all my clothes get rip off,” said Jack, who spent some time at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) after being rescued, nursing serious cuts and bruises on his body.

He said that after the 2013 floods, the Government built a house for him, so he does not have to live at the river’s edge.

However, Jack is not fearful for himself, but for persons who live close to the river.

“I’m not scared, but it (heavy rains) brings back memories. It is possible that the water can do it (overrun its banks) again. It’s God work and from how I see them do the river (the building of the Hope Bridge) the water might take a long time to bounce over, but the thing is the water not telling you when it going bounce, so we go watch and see.”

Jack said that he is hoping that persons who live on the river bank can get help to relocate like he did. He is also seeking help for his girlfriend’s 14 and 15-year-old children who live with their grandmother.

During the flood, Jack also lost his 12-year-old niece Inka Jack, whose body, like Edwards’, was never found.

“I watching the rainy season to see what will happen,” said Jack, as he pointed to a section of the river next to the Brownes’ property. (LC)

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