Taxi driver Jumo Grant is thankful to be alive today after part of the roof of his vehicle was crushed in a landslide during heavy rains last week.
On Monday, August 23, at about 8:55 p.m., Grant was returning from Georgetown where he had gone to transport workers, when just as he drove past the Mt Greenan gap, in an area known as Lovindeer Corner, he began to hear strange noises around him.
“…It was raining and the place was dark, as there are no street lights there and … while I was going around the corner, I started to hear all these noises. Two vehicles were in front of me; I noticed that one of them slowed down, but the person continued to drive. I continued to drive as well although I could hear … [something] hitting the vehicle and the road, but I didn’t stop, I continued driving.”
The New Montrose resident, who has been a taxi driver for over eight years said at first, he did not realise what had happened.
“I was confused at first; I did not know what was happening. But at one point, because it was raining, the wiper was wiping and I began to see dirt on the windscreen of the vehicle. Then is when I realised what was going on. But I continued driving and stopped a distance away to check and inspect to see what was going on,” he said.
What he saw when he got out of his vehicle sent shivers through his spine.
“It just went like real crazy after that. I just started to freak out and panic because when I saw the back of the vehicle and realized the back had sunk in, I panicked….
“Because I realised that if I had passed one second later, the stuff that hit the back of the vehicle could have hit the front of the vehicle,” Grant related, adding, “probably not even a whole second, ‘cause the thing happened so fast.” He noted that his vehicle, a white Honda Prestige carries a sunroof, which is positioned towards the front of the vehicle, and had the debris hit the windshield, sunroof or roof over the driver’s seat, he could have been injured, or worse.
The father of four was able to drive his vehicle all the way home, but on closer inspection, he realised that the falling soil and stones had burst the roof of the vehicle. He has been informed by the valuator that the vehicle will have to be written off. At 6:00 p.m. on Monday, August 23, the day of the landslide, the Meteorological Services Department at the Argyle International
Airport had issued a warning that “until 6:00 am on August 24, 2021, residents and motorists in areas prone to flooding and landslides or near rivers and streams should take the necessary precaution to protect life and property.”
Between 6:00 p.m. Friday, August 20 and 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 24, 163.9 mm or 6.45 inches of rain was recorded at the Argyle International Airport, a few miles south of where the incident took place, along the east coast of St Vincent.