Nov. 14, 2003 — The incessant rain that has drenched St. Croix since Tuesday has left the landscape looking as if a hurricane has passed — although spared the devastation caused by howling winds. The 10 to 15 inches of rain have spawned flash floods, mud and rock slides.Mud and debris cover most roads and there has been substantial damage to homes and businesses.
Gov. Charles Turnbull declared a state of emergency during a Radio One newscast at 6:45 p.m. Friday.
Elroy Harrison, VITEMA's deputy director, said St. Croix has thus far been the hardest hit of the Virgin Islands. But that may change as weather service predictions show the St. Thomas/St. John District should brace itself for the force of the storm in the coming days.
"St. Croix experienced additional problems because of last night's deluge, which brought an additional 2 to 3 inches of rain in a three-hour period," Harrison said Friday. He said most of the progress the Department of Public Works crews had made in the first days of the storm was wiped out by Thursday night's downpour.
He gave kudos to the Public Works road crew for the job they have been doing on St. Croix. He also pointed out that the department's crews routinely cleaned guts and drainage facilities prior to the start of the hurricane season in June. Without these measures, Harrison said, the situation would have been "much worse."
Several mudslides landed in Mon Bijou/Frangipani, one of the hardest-hit areas, where many homes were flooded. Blue Mountain Road, the site of the emergency response repeater antenna, was washed away.
Bugby Hole lost part of its bridge. On the north side of the island, rockslides blocked parts of the notorious "The Beast" incline west of Cane Bay.
The White Bay area of Frederiksted suffered extensive flooding, creating virtual swimming pools up to 4 feet deep and 150 feet long. An emergency retaining wall on Scenic Road had to be erected to hold back the eroding and crumbling soil.
Other hart-hit areas include the District Court, Watergut, Tonn Motors, and north of Frederiksted in the Lagoon area.
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