Saved by his colleagues

Cecil Reynolds yesterday sang praises to two of his colleagues who he claimed rescued him from what could have been a disaster.

Reynolds was one of three farmers of the Plantain Garden River (PGR) agro-park in Winchester, St Thomas that was yesterday inundated with water following heavy overnight rains across the island.

The other two, who were trapped on another end of the farm had made their way to safety but Reynolds' only hope at the time was to seek refuge on the roof of a building that was slowly being overwhelmed by the flood waters.

RIVER OVERFLOWING

"When I got up this morning (Tuesday) it was raining heavily and the water in the canal started rising. I went to the back of the farm to see if everything was OK, but then I realised that the river was coming over its banks.

"So I turned back to leave the farm, but I couldn't because the water was covering most of the land. I couldn't move as I was encircled by water. I stayed there and called the person in charge of the farm and he got in touch with the emergency people," Reynolds said.

Describing what he said were the most terrifying moments of his life, Reynolds told The Gleaner that he has never witnessed such floods at the farm in all his years working there.

According to him: "To be honest I was really scared. When I saw that the entire farm was covered and the building I was on top of was also being covered I got really afraid.

"When I saw the two men coming I was glad. I began believing that there was a way out.

"They came and threw me a rope and that's what helped me to escape. I'm forever indebted to those men, they saved my life."

Nicola Shirley, chair of the Source Farm, the organisation spearheading the organic farm at PGR agro-park that was flooded told The Gleaner that approximately seven acres of land cultivating onions were destroyed during the food. They lost $5 million they had spent on land preparation, fertilisers, irrigation and seeds.

According to her, the flooding of the area could have been avoided if the Plantain Garden River received the proper river-training.

Shirley said the onions were due to be ready in June and would have turned over an approximate profit of $10 million which they needed to settle the long standing debt owed by the agro-park to the credit union.


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