Opposition Leader calls for flood mitigation plan for East Portland

Dr. Peter Phillips
Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips has said there is need for a long term flood mitigation plan, especially for East Portland.
Dr. Phillips said the area has frequently suffered from severe flooding and with climate change, the impact is expected to worsen.
He was speaking with the media on Thursday during a tour of areas in Portland affected by last week's heavy rains.
According to Dr. Phillips, the Government should join with the Opposition and other stakeholders to develop a flood control plan "to make the communities more resilient, more resistant to the effects of this changed weather pattern which we are witnessing in the country now." 
Although he acknowledged that the Government may not be able to implement such a plan for the entire country all at once, Dr. Phillips suggested that in the interim, work needs to continue to strengthen the infrastructure in Portland as "there is no doubt that East Portland is in need most urgently of an immediate response."
"River training needs to be done, foundations need to be strengthened, gabion baskets need to be put in - all of that needs to be done urgently while we have some dry weather," he pinpointed.  
He added that a medium term plan is needed in the "next three years or so" because "the country simply doesn't have the resources to be able to do the relief work every time, unless we also do the flood management work." 
Limited financial resources should not be a deterrent to correcting the problems in East Portland, Dr. Phillips concluded, declaring that: "You can't measure life in terms of dollars and cents value; life is life, it is irreplaceable, it is priceless."
Several roads in Portland, St. Mary and St. Catherine were affected by flood waters and landslides.
Some roads in Portland, including that from Moore Town to Cornwall Barracks, have been reopened to single lane traffic.
The Bourbon to Maidstone road is still impassable.

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