The Sandy Gully drainage network, its tributaries, other major drains and gullies suffered considerable damage to inverts and retaining walls during the passage of Tropical Storm Gustav. This had the effect of cutting off access to schools, undermined the foundation of buildings and channelled storm water through private properties. The damage incurred was in excess of $562 million.
This Tropical Storm and the flood rains that followed forced the National Works Agency to identify for repairs and priority attention, forty (40) of the most critical areas along the drainage network, its tributaries and other gullies in the Kingston Metropolitan Region. Areas such as Rocksburgh in Arcadia, Cassia Park, Majestic Gardens, and McGregor Gully among others were identified as most critical.
Estimates were prepared, submitted and tenders invited. When approval was received from the National Contracts Commission, the Minister and Permanent Secretary granted permission for the Agency to proceed with the programme of repairs. In some instances the approval of Cabinet was needed because of the size of the contract. Work on some of the more critical areas has already commenced due to the threat posed to life and property.
In a couple of instances, primarily due to the magnitude of the damage, immediate cleaning of gullies was embarked on and sand bags were placed along the banks to prevent further flooding and damage to properties.