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February 14, 2014
Drop Off losing battle against angry waves

One resident affected by the ground swells in the Sans Souci area says he had never experienced anything like what he witnessed last weekend.{{more}}

“I’ve been living here about 19 years, and I lived through hurricanes right here, but I never see anything like this,” Kenrick Jack told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday.

Jack, along with three other neighbours had to be removed from their homes along the coast, in the area popularly known as “Drop Off”, after waves pounded the embankment for days.

The residents have been relocated temporarily to the Learning Resource Centre in San Souci, and Jack believes a permanent transfer may well be the case, although he is hoping to return home.

The shop owner told SEARCHLIGHT that the sea had claimed about 60 feet of land behind his home, on which stood a shed next to his shop, where he cooked and hosted domino competitions on weekends.

“I hope to return if they can do something, but I don’t know how soon. I done move a lot of things out of the house. I have a bar here, but I just operate an ice box, because I don’t want to run a risk of going in the shop.

A number of coconut trees, planted decades ago to offer some protection to the lands, were also pulled out into the ocean by the waves.

Further up from the houses, the waves have reportedly undermined a section of the embankment, which could affect the main highway above.

Workers from the Roads, Bridges, and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) were in the process of placing huge boulders, mined from the Rabacca river, in the sea to cushion the effects of the waves, which are being caused by cold fronts moving down from the North Atlantic.

The work is expected to continue until the entire area is temporarily secured, so that a permanent solution can be implemented, officials say.

“The NEMO guy (director Howie Prince) came here, the chief engineer (Brent Bailey) came, the Minister (Saboto Caesar) came and they were watching,” Jack said.

“I am thankful to NEMO and the Minister and Dill Morris (of BRAGSA), because they act very quickly, because they saw the dangers,” he added.

According to the Jack, the waves have calmed down “about 50 per cent” from when the surges began last week Friday.

“I feel terrible because it’s the first time I ever see this. The situation is very dangerous I don’t know what can be done.”