Dispute resolution: reasonable settlement and third parties

first_imgWhere a defendant settles a claim with the claimant and then seeks to recover his losses from a third party, the third party may attempt to challenge the settlement on the basis that it was unreasonable. What approach, therefore, would the courts take in assessing whether a settlement was reasonable? This was one of the main issues upon which the Court of Appeal provided valuable guidance in the recent case of Supershield Limited v Siemens Building Technologies FE Limited [2010] EWCA Civ 7. In Supershield, X, the contractor, constructed new offices at the order of the developer. X sub-contracted various electrical and mechanical works to Y, including the supply and installation of sprinklers. Y then subcontracted the supply and installation of the sprinklers to Siemens. Siemens subcontracted the installation of the sprinklers systems to Supershield. Shortly after the offices were constructed, the water sprinkler system storage tank overflowed and caused extensive flooding which resulted in damage and loss. A mediation was held, attended by all parties to the dispute. Siemens settled the claims with the parties up the contractual chain, but was unable to reach a settlement with Supershield and, therefore, pursued its part 20 claim against Supershield to trial. At first instance, the judge found that the cause of the flooding was defective works carried out by Supershield. On the issue of damages, Supershield disputed Siemens’ contention that the sum for which Siemens had settled the claims was reasonable. Supershield argued that the settlement did not reflect the strengths of the defences which were available to Siemens against the claims which had been brought against it. The judge at first instance, however, found that the overall settlement was, in fact, reasonable and gave judgment for Siemens for the amount of the settlement (plus interest). Supershield appealed on three grounds: (1) the judge had misconstrued the subcontract; (2) the judge was wrong to find that Supershield had installed a ball valve, a mechanism which was found to have caused the sprinkler to fail; and (3) the judge was wrong to find that the settlements which Siemens concluded with the other parties to the dispute were reasonable. Lord Justice Toulson, giving the judgment of the court, had no difficulty in dismissing the first two issues. He carefully considered all of the relevant contractual documents between the parties and, construing the meanings given in those documents, found that the judge had correctly interpreted the subcontract between the parties and that Supershield had, in fact, installed the ball valve. Toulson LJ then went on to consider issue (3): was the settlement reasonable? His lordship proceeded by firstly acknowledging that parties to a dispute will, understandably, have different perceptions of what would be a fair settlement figure without either being unreasonable. The object of mediation or negotiations was to close the gap to a point which each party found to be acceptable, and this will be an important factor which a judge, who is considering whether a settlement is reasonable, will take into account. Another factor which would influence a judge’s conclusion as to whether a settlement was reasonable would be that a judge is likely to have a less complete understanding of the relative strengths of the settling parties than they had themselves, and this was particularly so in complex litigation. Toulson LJ argued that a judge would essentially have to ask himself whether the settlement was “within the range of what was reasonable”. If a judge does find that the settlement was reasonable then “…an appellate court will not interfere with his decision unless persuaded that he erred in principle or (which is intrinsically unlikely) that his decision was incapable of justification on any reasonable view”. Supershield raised arguments of remoteness of damage in contract to support its argument that the settlement was not reasonable. Supershield contended that the cause of the flooding was due to blockage in the storage tank or that the cause of the flooding was too remote a consequence for Siemens to have been liable to the main subcontractor on a proper application of the rule of Headley v Baxendale (1854) 9 Ex 341. Supershield maintained that imputing knowledge of the existence of the drains (which the judge at first instance had done) was incorrect. Rather, it was the fact that the tank room was designed and constructed with drains, and the usual and natural course of any water which overflowed from the sprinkler tank would have been to run away via the drains into a sewer. The fact that the drains were blocked meant that this prevented the water from draining away, which would have been the case if the drains had not been blocked. Turning to the issue of the degree of likelihood required for the damage not to be regarded as too remote, Toulson LJ reinforced the application of Hadley: ‘Hadley v Baxendale remains a standard rule but it has been rationalised on the basis that it reflects the expectation to be imputed to the parties in the ordinary case, ie that a contract breaker should ordinarily be liable to the other party for damage resulting from his breach if, but only if, at the time of making the contract a reasonable person in his shoes would have had damage of that kind in mind as not unlikely to result from a breach.’ Further, Toulson LJ, following the House of Lords case of Transfield Shipping Inc v Mercator Shipping Inc [2008] UKHL 48, stated: ‘If, on the proper analysis of the contract against its commercial background, the loss was within the scope of the duty, it cannot be regarded as too remote, even if it would not have occurred in ordinary circumstances.’ Finding that the cause of the flood was due to the defective works carried out by Supershield, Toulson LJ concluded that Siemens had only to show it was reasonable to settle the claims against it and this had been done. Supershield helpfully illustrates the approach the courts are likely to take when asked to consider whether a settlement is reasonable. It is clear that a court is under no obligation to carry out a detailed assessment of the merits of the case when assessing reasonableness. If the lower courts conclude that a settlement was reasonable then, as Toulson LJ made clear, the higher courts will not usually interfere. Therefore, Part 20 defendants would be wise to tread carefully when seeking to challenge a settlement on the grounds of reasonableness and this will especially be the case when settlements are reached in complex disputes. Masood Ahmed is a senior lecturer in law at Birmingham City Universitylast_img read more

Gravy train derailed

first_imgI note with interest that the Solicitors Regulation Authority is to canvass personal injury firms to ask how they will cope when the government bans referral fees. I would suggest that they cope by ceasing to chase the gravy train and actually exercise business and professional judgement. I do not recall any regulator or professional body consulting me or my partners when we were forced (along with hundreds of other firms) to bail out the banks and insurance companies over the fiasco involving The Accident Group (TAG) a few years ago. Readers will recall that that debacle centred around what were later found to be illegal referral fees, namely payments made to an associate company of TAG for services relating to personal injury claims. The whole TAG scheme depended on the support of several large banks and insurance companies which were, one might have thought, capable of exercising a bit of business sense but who instead blamed solicitors for their losses and sued accordingly. Luckily for my firm, I exercised some sense (when I realised that all was not as it seemed) by plugging the flow of TAG work into our office. Referral fees are inherently wrong; this is borne out not only by the above episode but by the general experience of mankind over the centuries. Such fees compromise the integrity and independence of the recipient and have no place in our legal system (a principle which not so long ago was taken as axiomatic by every good lawyer). Continually saying a thing is harmless does not make it so; if you do not agree, try it with the next shark you meet. Stephen Thorn, Drivers, Yorklast_img read more

2 dead, 36 hurt after bus hits fire truck, more vehicles

first_img Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. LAPLACE, La. (AP) – A bus full of construction workers hit a firetruck on an elevated highway Sunday, killing two people and injuring 36, several of them seriously, Louisiana State Police said.The ladder truck from St. John the Baptist Parish, west of New Orleans, had parked across the right lane of Interstate 10 to block traffic while police investigated an earlier wreck involving a pickup truck that had skidded on the wet road, crashing into both guardrails about 6:40 a.m., Trooper Melissa Matey said.The 2002 Eldorado National party bus hit the fire truck and then rear-ended a 2012 Toyota Camry, pushing it into a flatbed trailer being towed by a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado, Matey said. She said the bus then veered behind the fire truck and into the first pickup truck, a 2005 Nissan Titan. It also knocked three firefighters, who were standing near the guard rail, into the water 30 to 40 feet below.Matey said the wreck killed Jermaine Starr, 21, of Moss Point, Mississippi, a back-seat passenger in the Camry, and St. John the Baptist Parish district Fire Chief Spencer Chauvin. The injured included the other two firefighters, the bus driver, 24 bus passengers and a total of nine people in the car and pickups.Firefighter Nicholas Saale, 32, of Ponchatoula, and Camry passenger Vontravous Kelly of Moss Point, Mississippi, are in critical condition, she said. The Camry’s other two occupants, driver Marcus Tate, 35, and David Jones, both of Moss Point, are in serious condition.Other injuries – including the Titan’s two occupants, who suffered minor injuries in the original crash – ranged from minor to moderate, Matey said.The bus driver, identified as Denis Yasmir Amaya Rodriguez, 37, of Honduras, will be arrested on two counts of negligent homicide and one each of reckless driving and driving without a license, she said.“Additional criminal charges are forthcoming,” she said.The injured were taken to hospitals in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Hammond and LaPlace, she said.Matey said the bus was taking flood recovery workers from New Orleans to Baton Rouge.It belonged to a company with two names: AM Party Bus and Kristina’s Transportation LLC, both at the same address in Jefferson, about 30 miles from New Orleans in Jefferson Parish, Matey said.No listing in Jefferson was available. A call to Kristina’s Transportation in Destrehan, 12 miles from Jefferson in St. Charles Parish, was not answered Sunday. A woman who answered the phone at AM Party Bus of New Orleans said she was only authorized to take booking calls.Matey did not know whether Rodriguez was an employee of that company, or whether the company checked to see whether he had a driver’s license.“He is in this country illegally from Honduras. He has no driver’s license. He had minor injuries,” she said.Matey did not know where in Honduras Rodriguez is from.Department of Homeland Security investigators and state police are checking on the passengers’ immigration status, she said.Matey said speed was a factor in both the crash of the Titan, which bounced from one guard rail to the other about 6:40 a.m., and that of the bus at 7:17 a.m. SHARE Published: August 28, 2016 10:16 PM EDT 2 dead, 36 hurt after bus hits fire truck, more vehicles last_img read more

Texas Tech police officer killed, campus on lockdown

first_img Published: October 9, 2017 10:28 PM EDT Updated: October 9, 2017 10:37 PM EDT LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Texas Tech University in Lubbock was placed on lockdown after a campus police officer was shot and killed.University spokesman Chris Cook said campus police made a student welfare Monday evening and, upon entering the room, found evidence of drugs and drug paraphernalia. Officers then brought the suspect to the police station for standard debriefing.While at the station, Cook said the suspect pulled out a gun and shot an officer in the head, killing him. The suspect then fled on foot and remains at large.In a statement, the university identified the suspected shooter as 19-year-old Hollis Daniels.Texas Tech officials issued a lockdown alert to students on social media, noting that the suspect had not been apprehended. The alert urged those on campus “to take shelter in a safe location.”Additional information was not immediately available. SHARE Author: Associated Press center_img Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. Texas Tech police officer killed, campus on lockdown last_img read more

Fast-track pilot scheme causes ‘chaos’ at RCJ

first_imgA pilot scheme to test block-listing of fast-track civil cases threw the Central London County Court (CLCC) into ‘chaos’ this week, lawyers have told the Gazette.The scheme, which will run until 11 September at the Royal Courts of Justice, caused lengthy delays when it was launched on Tuesday, with many parties waiting all morning for their cases to be heard.The scheme block-lists fast-track civil cases on an unassigned list in the CLCC in order to ‘maximise’ the number of cases that can be heard in a day. The unassigned list means that no judge is assigned to a case in the hope that one will become free, for example if another case settles.The pilot covers cases from all London county courts as well as suitable cases from some county courts in the south-east.The Gazette understands that on the first day of the pilot scheme 28 cases had been placed on the unassigned list rather than the usual total of around six. One barrister said there was ‘utter chaos’ in the morning as there were ‘nowhere near enough’ judges to hear the unassigned trials. He said that some cases were sent to nearby courts with capacity, such as Clerkenwell, while his case was eventually heard at 2.30pm.Jasmine Murphy, a barrister at Hardwicke, said her one-day hearing which had been listed for 10am was not heard until 4pm when it was adjourned at the request of the opposing side.While there have been some delays in the past due to the unassigned list, there have never been delays to this extent, she said.HM Courts and Tribunal Service said that all cases were ‘dealt with’ by the end of the day. It confirmed that ‘dealt with’ cases include those adjourned. It added that the scheme was run at this time to utilise the spare courtroom capacity at the Royal Courts of Justice during the summer vacation.HMCTS plans to review the pilot at the end of the pilot and get user feedback, but said it was too early to say whether the scheme will be rolled out to other courts if it proves successful. The experiences left some lawyers concerned about how the system would work if it were to be used more regularly.‘I don’t think it’s an efficient system, nor a costs-saving system and it puts unfair pressure on judges, court staff, parties, witnesses and their legal representatives,’ Murphy said.last_img read more

£10 MILLION WINDFALL FOR DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY FROM MAJOR EVENTS SUPPORTED BY THE COUNCIL

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInDumfries and Galloway’s major festivals and events are one of the outstanding success stories of the region. That is the clear message being sent out by the regional partners who are delivering the Council led Major Festivals and Events Strategy 2014-2017.The investment provided by the Strategy is producing superb economic results from a host of high profile festivals, the Council can report.The Wigtown Book Festival, Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival, Spring Fling, Big Burns Supper and the Eden Festival are all reporting increasing numbers of visitors and economic impacts for the wider economy. All of these events are becoming stronger financially through the revenues they are securing and the market niches they are carving out within Scotland and the UK.The funded events of the strategy created a £10m windfall for the region from visitor and events expenditure in 2014, evaluation reports show, and 2015 will create a similar return. The figures demonstrate a superb return on the Council’s annual investment of £250,000 p.a.The forthcoming International Sheep Dog Trials, September 10-12 at Meikleholm Farm, will see a new influx of 10,000 plus visitors descend upon Annandale and Eskdale this Autumn. These visitors are expected to create a £1m plus spending boost.Spring Fling, the region wide open artists’ studio weekend continues to be a superb showcase for regional artists and attracts flocks of visitors. The event was worth more than £1.4m to the area this year with enthusiasts spending £262, 940 in the 95 participating studios. More than five and a half thousand people planned a trip to Dumfries and Galloway in May of this year specifically to visit Spring Fling.Councillor Colin Smyth, the Local Authority’s Events Champion said;The Council’s targeted investment since we adopted the Major Festivals and Events Strategy in November 2013 is developing for our region a rich seam of nationally and internationally significant festivals and events, that are sustainable for the foreseeable future. These events add to our quality of life and help agencies such as VisitScotland successfully market South West Scotland.We are fully mindful of the knowledge and skills events organisations in Dumfries and Galloway possess, and which they put to fantastic creative use, and the good fortune we have to benefit from such a strong relationship with agencies such as EventScotland the Holywood Trust. The £10m plus financial windfall for Dumfries and Galloway we are announcing for 2014 demonstrates a superb return on public sector investment from our grant support. The Strategy is a cornerstone of our work to bring economic benefit to the region and to concentrate on activities that develop our economy.There are many more great events projects in the pipeline and the Council is determined to make Dumfries and Galloway the best rural location for major festivals and events in Scotland. Our signature events are an outstanding success story for the region.”VisitScotland Regional Director Paula McDonald said;“The extensive and diverse range of high-quality events and festivals hosted throughout Dumfries & Galloway plays a major part in attracting visitors to the region and showcasing its incredible scenery, inspiring heritage, wonderful attractions and the amazing range of things there are to see and experience here. The value to the region’s tourism industry of a lively, engaging events and festivals programme is huge and we recognise that continued investment in that is critical to continued economic success and growth and are committed to supporting that through EventScotland funding.We are delighted that Dumfries and Galloway Council has measured the impact of the investment made into the 2014 events programme and the superb return which this has achieved, and congratulate the Council and all of the events’ organisers involved who have worked so hard to deliver such great results for Dumfries and Galloway. We look forward to seeing many more successes as the exciting 2015 events calendar continues to roll out.”Photo attached – Cllr Colin Smyth, the Council’s Events Champion, promotes the forthcoming Lockerbie Jazz Festival, Sheepdog Trials and Pack Up Your Troubles Festival. The Council has announced that major events are worth £10m to the regional economy each year.The Council monitors the financial, visitor and economic impacts of festivals and events funded through the Major Festivals and Events Strategy, 2014-2017. The very noticeable trend is of visitor growth across a clear majority of events.Key results include;Spring Fling has increased its economic impact for the regional economy from £1,084,723 in 2013 to £1,428, 897in 2015. Total visitor numbers to studios increased from 11,948 in 2013 to 13,206 in 2015 and the spend recorded in participating artists’ and craftmakers studios rose from £198,154 to £262,940 in the same two year period.The Wigtown Book Festival (delivered by the Wigtown Festival Trust) is committed to 7% increases in ticket sales and overall economic impact in the period 2014-2016. It met these targets in 2014 – The Festival attracted 7093 unique ticket purchasing visitors who bought a total of 14, 267 tickets. Visitors are now staying longer in Dumfries and Galloway, up to an average of 3.7 days per visitor coming to the Festival from outwith Dumfries and Galloway. 57% of all ticket purchasing visitors are from outwith the region. The Festival is now responsible for creating an economic impact each year of more than £2.3m.Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival saw audience numbers rise by a whopping 47% in 2015 – up to 5186 from 3524 in 2014. Total ticket sales rose from £19,229 to £30,379.Big Burns Supper saw a big increase in ticket sales and economic impact to the regional economy in 2015 and generates £10 for the economy for every £1 of DGC funding – its economic impact in 2015 was £436,000.The Eden Festival has superb growth potential. In 2015, aided by financial support from the Council, 30% more visitors took in the Festival in comparison to 2014.The 2014 World Curling Championships in Dumfries created a total economic impact of £894,269 (recorded via an economic impact study conducted by Ekos – an economic development consultancy) and the World Championship Ice Hockey tournaments the Council hosts all create a minimum economic impact of £170,000 to the regional economy – generated by £35,000 of grant expenditure on these World Championships by the Council.The Council is currently undertaking a joint study with the Wickerman Festival into its economic impacts, growth potential and competitive positioning. Past evidence suggests that the Festival is worth a minimum of £3m per annum to the regional economy and helps attract many thousands of new visitors to our region each year.last_img read more

ARKLESS WELCOMES £5,000 DAY CENTRE DONATION

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedIn Riverside Day Centre in Newton Stewart is to benefit from a £5,000 donation from Celtic Football Club to help with essential repairs after extensive flooding left the centre unusable.The centre is a community hub in Newton Stewart and provides hot food and company for the elderly and also a space for a cancer drop-in centre through the week.Normally, around 50 local pensioners receive breakfast and a three-course lunch from the centre but with damaged appliances and a destroyed hall floor, this integral community service has had to stop.Commenting on the donation, Richard Arkless MP for Dumfries and Galloway said:“I was contacted by representatives of Celtic asking where they could make a donation to help people recently affected by the floods and I was pleased to nudge them in the direction of the Day Centre in Newton Stewart.“It is a very generous amount of money and it will certainly help get the Riverside Day Centre back up and running quickly. Many people depend on the hot meals and companionship that Riverside provides and I am delighted that Celtic FC selected the centre to receive this money.“The resilience of the local people in Newton Stewart and the way in which they have supported each other through the recent flooding crisis, has been humbling to watch. The Day Centre looks after the most vulnerable members of the community and it is essential that it gets back on its feet as soon as possible.”Riverside Day Centre is a registered charity and depends entirely on charitable donations that it receives throughout the year.The donation was presented to Helen Alexander and Susan McCalum ahead of the Scottish Cup game played at Stranraer’s Stair park on Sunday.last_img read more

U.N. calls on social media giants to control platforms used to…

first_imgSocial media companies are “giving a turbo-charged communications channel to criminals, to smugglers, to traffickers, to exploiters”. Image courtesy: vTechno News Social media companies are “giving a turbo-charged communications channel to criminals, to smugglers, to traffickers, to exploiters”. Image courtesy: vTechno NewsThe U.N. migration agency called on social media giants on Friday to make it harder for people smugglers to use their platforms to lure West African migrants to Libya where they can face detention, torture, slavery or death.The smugglers often use Facebook to reach would-be migrants with false promises of jobs in Europe, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) spokesman Leonard Doyle said.When migrants are tortured, video is also sometimes sent back to their families over WhatsApp, as a means of extortion, he said.“We really […] ask social media companies to step up and behave in a responsible way when people are being lured to death, to their torture,” Doyle told a Geneva news briefing.There were no immediate replies from Facebook or WhatsApp to requests by Reuters for comment.Hundreds of thousands of migrants have attempted to cross the Mediterranean to Europe since 2014 and 3,091 have died en route this year alone, many after passing through Libya.This year, the number of migrants entering Europe is 165,000, about 100,000 fewer than all of last year, but the influx has presented a political problem for European countries.IOM has been in discussions with social media providers about its concerns, Doyle said, adding: ”And so far to very little effect. What they say is ‘please tell us the pages and we will shut them down’.“It is not our job to police Facebook’s pages. Facebook should police its own pages,” he said.Africa represents a big and expanding market for social media but many people are unemployed and vulnerable, he said.“Facebook is pushing out, seeking market share across West Africa and pushing out so-called free basics, which allows […] a ‘dumb phone’ to get access to Facebook. So you are one click from the smuggler, one click from the lies,” he said.Social media companies are “giving a turbo-charged communications channel to criminals, to smugglers, to traffickers, to exploiters”, he added.Images broadcast by CNN last month appeared to show migrants being auctioned off as slaves by Libyan traffickers. This sparked anger in Europe and Africa and highlighted the risks migrants face.Doyle called for social media companies to invest in civic-minded media outreach and noted that on Google, pop-up windows appear if a user is looking at pornography images, to warn of danger or criminality.The IOM has helped 13,000 migrants to return voluntarily to Nigeria, Guinea and other countries from Libya this year. It provides them with transport and pocket money and documents their often harrowing testimonies.Doyle said it was currently repatriating 4,000 migrants to Niger. Switzerland said on Friday it was willing to take in up to 80 refugees in Libya in need of protection, among 5,000 whom the U.N. refugee agency says are in a precarious position.last_img read more

Australia beat Windies to win series

first_img Share NewsSports Australia beat Windies to win series by: Associated Free Press – December 29, 2015 59 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img Share Tweet Australian bowler Mitch Marsh (C) celebrates with teammates after dismissing West Indies batsman Denesh Ramdin (L) on the fourth day of the second cricket Test in Melbourne on Tuesday. (Photo: AFP)MELBOURNE, Australia (AFP) – Australia swept aside the West Indies for a 177-run victory in the second Test on Tuesday to take the series and retain the Frank Worrell Trophy.After winning the first Test in Hobart by an innings and 212 runs, the Australians dismissed the Caribbean tourists for 282 late on the fourth day.Australia declared their second innings on their overnight score of 179 for three with a 459-run lead, and grabbed three wickets in the middle session.With a fifth day still open, the tourists were 146 for four at tea at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.Despite a 100-run stand for the sixth wicket between skipper Jason Holder and former captain Denesh Ramdin, the West Indies lost their remaining four wickets quickly to be all out 1.3 overs before the scheduled finish.Holder went for 68 off 86 balls, while Ramdin chipped in with 59 off 90 in his best Test score for two years.Spinner Nathan Lyon was named man of the match with seven match wickets while all-rounder Mitchell Marsh finished with four for 61 in the second innings.The final Test of the three-Test series will start in Sydney on Sunday.last_img read more

One dead as TS Matthew lashes Windwards

first_imgNewsRegional One dead as TS Matthew lashes Windwards by: Caribbean Media Corporation – September 29, 2016 Sharing is caring! Share Tweet 756 Views   no discussionscenter_img Share Share KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC) – A fourth form secondary school student died Wednesday night after he was crushed by a boulder as he tried to alleviate flooding in his home during the passage of Tropical Storm Matthew.Police have not released the name of the student of the Buccament Bay Secondary School, and Deputy Director of the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), Michelle Forbes, has made a very strong appeal for persons to remain vigilant as drains and rivers have over flown their banks dumping debris and other materials on the roads making some of them impassable.A resident of the Central Leeward town said the teenager was crushed when he attempted to clear debris behind his home that was being flooded.The house is located close to a rocky cliff and reports are that the boulder had become lose pinning the student against the wall of the concrete house, killing him instantly.Meanwhile, in Buccament Bay, a neighbouring village in Central Leeward, several people abandoned their homes and sought refuge in emergency shelters as the river nearby again overran its bank.Police officers, including members of the Rapid Response Unit, where at the Buccament Bay Secondary School around 10:00 pm (local time) helping to transport people to the official emergency centre.Assistant Superintendent of Police, Enville Williams, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the police were there to help to save lives as an estimated 25 people left their homes for the shelter.In 2013, the river was responsible for the deaths of several people after heavy rains caused by the passage of the Christmas Eve trough system caused widespread flooding.There were reports of flooding in a number of areas, as well as landslides and power outages.The state-owned Agency for Public Information (API) said Wednesday night that there have been confirmed reports of flooding in Vermont, South Rivers, sections of Kingstown, Campden Park, Arnos Vale, including the ET Joshua Airport, Langley Park and Buccament.In addition, NEMO has received confirmed reports of damage to several homes, landslides and blocked roads.The Central Water and Sewage Authority (CWSA) has reported that Hermitage River has risen by 1.10 meters in the last hour and as a precautionary measure, the CWSA turned off all of their water systems.Schools will remain closed for the rest Thursday.NEMO is urging residents not to go sightseeing as emergency services will be responding to reports and roads have been impacted by landslides and flooding.Meanwhile, forecasters at the ET Joshua Airport said late Wednesday that a tropical storm warning remains in effect for St Vincent and the GrenadinesA tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are likely to affect the country — in this case, during the next 24 hours.Matthew was now moving towards the west at 15 miles per hour and a further decrease in forward speed is expected during the next few days. But it is expected to strengthen and become a hurricane by Friday.Forecasters say Matthew will continue to produce moderate to heavy showers, thunderstorms and gusty storm force winds across St Vincent Wednesday night into Thursday.last_img read more