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Regular flooding at Buccament Bay keeps villagers on edge

Regular flooding at Buccament Bay keeps villagers on edge

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The National Emergency Management Organi­zation (NEMO) issued an all clear for St Vincent and the Grenadines at 11 a.m. Thursday morning, as it relates to Tropical Storm Matthew, but for some Buccament Bay residents, this storm may just be the tip of the iceberg, as the hurricane season is still young.

Buccament resident Peter Matthews said that he has lived at Buccament for four years {{more}}and in 2013 his small wooden house and shop got flooded out. He said that now that the hurricane season is upon us once again, he is feeling a little on edge.

On Wednesday, as Matthews awaited the arrival of Tropical Storm Matthew, he said that in his opinion, enough is not being done to mitigate the impact of the weather in places like Buccament.

He said that a little rain on Tuesday, September 27 created a small flood and that showed him that if a major downpour were to occur, the floods of 2013 could repeat themselves easily.

“Boy, remember the thing now start nah; you never know what could happen,” said the dreadlocked man, who noted that in 2013, he went to his mother’s home during the torrential downpour and when he returned to his home, everything had been washed away.

“I really feel they should move the people or something, put them somewhere better nah…people can’t go nowhere because them ain’t get nowhere else to go,” said Matthews, who revealed that when he heard about the arrival of Tropical Storm Matthew, he could not sleep.

“I was watching out to see if the road flood. I just been watching to see if the place flood,” Matthews said, adding that the small wooden structure from which he operates his stop is all he owns.

The dreadlocked man is of the opinion that a huge boulder, which is located along the river bank, causes his area to flood, because when the water hits the rock it diverts and comes into the road. He thinks that moving the rock may help to alleviate some of the flooding.

The passage of Tropical Storm Matthew did not affect Matthews.

Norma Browne, another resident of the area, who has been living on the Buccament Bay river bank for over 20 years, said during the Christmas floods of 2013, her home and shop (attached to the house) were completely flooded out and everything was swept away.

She told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday that when she heard about Tropical Storm Matthew, she became a bit worried, as she began remembering the 2013 floods.

She said that when the waters came then, she sought refuge on her shop counter, as she watched her benches, tables and bamboo fencing being taken away.

However, in relation to this hurricane season, Browne said that while she is not too worried, she is still keeping an eye out for the river that reached up to six feet high in certain parts of her yard in 2013.

“I ain’t feel too bad about it (hurricane and flooding); if it happen it happen, but is the work of the Lord and I never frighten when God do his work, but I am a believers (sic) a strong believer in God and God doing his work,” said Browne.

“I keep an eye out for the river and if I see the river come down too high I would get out if I can,” she stressed.

Tropical Storm Matthew did not force Browne out of her home, but her daughter Maureen Browne, who lives in a modest structure on the same piece of land her mother occupies, didn’t take any chances and took up refuge at the Buccament Government School.

Browne said that she is scared for her daughter and grandchildren and is hoping that they can get somewhere safer to live. (LC)

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