Tropical Storm Laura causes flooding, some damage in sections of Jamaica

Tropical Storm Laura dumped inches of torrential rain on sections of Jamaica over the past 24 hours, some sections of the island could not withstand the downpour. (Photo: Twitter @NWA_JA)

The parishes of Clarendon, Kingston, St Andrew and St Thomas are taking a battering from heavy rains as well as strong winds following the passage of Tropical Storm Laura just north of Jamaica on Monday (August 24).

In St Andrew, the National Works Agency (NWA) has indicated that a section of the main road from Papine to Bull Bay, which serves the community of Dallas Castle, has been eroded. Only pedestrian access is available at this time.

More woes for Bull Bay as residents shared images of a breakaway threatening the integrity of a bridge in 8 Miles.

Motorists heading east along Marcus Garvey Drive towards downtown Kingston are experiencing traffic delays at the intersection with Eighth Avenue, which was flooded after heavy rains.

Further north, in Gordon Town, the main road linking the community to Papine has again been blocked following mudslides late Sunday night into Monday morning. The NWA said it initially suspended road clearing efforts until daybreak.

Not even the bustling commercial centre that is Half-Way-Tree was sparred by the downpour, as motorists drove through knee-high flood waters.

The NWA further advised that the main road between Trout Hall and James Hill in Clarendon is currently impassable to large units, due to a landslide. While the agency has mobilised heavy equipment to have the road cleared, even as the rains persist, operators of small vehicles should exercise extreme caution using this corridor.

Tropical Storm Laura, according to the Jamaica Meteorological Service, has transitioned further away from the island, however, more outbreaks of turbulent weather are expected from its outer bands into Monday afternoon.

“Although Jamaica will experience breaks from rainfall activity during the course of the day, bands of showers and thunderstorms will be generated from time to time and cause further outbreaks into the late afternoon,” the met service tweeted.

As at 11:00 am Eastern Standard Time (EST), Tropical Storm Laura was located near latitude 21.2 north, longitude 80.6 west—or roughly 105 kilometres east-southeast of Cayo Largo, Cuba.

The disorganised system is moving toward the west-northwest at 31 kilometres/hour); and packs maximum sustained winds near 95 kilometres/hour, with higher gusts.