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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsFlood Watch Continues as Heavy Rain Impacts V.I., Puerto Rico

Flood Watch Continues as Heavy Rain Impacts V.I., Puerto Rico

A flood watch remains in effect for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands until at least 6 p.m. Sunday evening. (Photo courtesy NWS, San Juan, Puerto Rico)
A flood watch remains in effect for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands until at least 6 p.m. Sunday evening. (Photo courtesy NWS, San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Heavy rain Friday and early Saturday resulted in flooding across Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Additional precipitation is possible, and a flood watch remains in effect until Sunday evening.

Visible satellite imagery obtained at 3:10 p.m. Saturday. An unsettled weather pattern across the region is expected to continue. (Photo courtesy NWS, San Juan, Puerto Rico and NOAA)
Visible satellite imagery obtained at 3:10 p.m. Saturday. An unsettled weather pattern across the region is expected to continue. (Photo courtesy NWS, San Juan, Puerto Rico and NOAA)

“A wet and unstable weather pattern is expected to persist through early next week,” according to an update on Saturday from the National Weather Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A series of troughs [areas of low pressure] will promote thunderstorms and excessive rainfall across the area, enhancing the potential for flooding,” the NWS continued.

“The risk of flash flooding is high, and we urge you to take all necessary precautions to ensure your safety and that of your loved ones,” the NWS warned.

Excessive rainfall has already caused significant problems for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The Carnival Village on St. Thomas was closed Friday night due to heavy rain and flooding, and descriptions of water flowing through roads on St. Croix appeared on social media sites. Widespread power outages were reported by the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority.

NWS map of preliminarily rainfall totals as of Saturday. (Photo courtesy NWS, San Juan, Puerto Rico)
NWS map of preliminarily rainfall totals as of Saturday. (Photo courtesy NWS, San Juan, Puerto Rico)

According to the NWS, as of Saturday morning, areas of both territories had received nearly five inches of precipitation. Meteorologist Emanuel Rodriguez at the NWS in San Juan, Puerto Rico, provided the Source with preliminary estimates of rainfall totals. The initial rainfall amounts were collected by the CoCoRaHS Network, a group of volunteer weather observers. Doppler radar was also utilized to determine precipitation across the islands.

“The [rainfall] amounts reported in Saint Croix range from three to almost five inches,” Rodriguez said Saturday. “The amounts were similar in St. Thomas, and only one observation [was provided from] St. John, [which] showed one inch of rain. However, radar estimates also showed [true] accumulations of two to five inches on St. John,” he continued.

The flood watch will be in effect until at least 6 p.m. Sunday. While the NWS noted that precipitation may not be as heavy as was experienced on Friday, any additional rain could result in further flash flooding.

“Although the rainfall amounts are not expected to be as high as [the amount of rain received on Friday], the soils are saturated, so additional flooding and mudslides will be possible,” Rodriguez explained. “As a result, the flash flood watch remains in effect for the islands,” he added.

Rodriguez noted that a drying trend is forecast to occur during the second half of the coming week.

“Conditions will improve for the latter part of the week, although it could become hazy as Saharan dust approaches,” he said.

Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett released the following statement on Saturday encouraging V.I. residents and visitors to stay alert and safe during severe weather.

“The National Weather Service has issued multiple warnings about inclement weather and flash flooding that will affect our territory through Sunday afternoon/evening. I urge everyone to heed all warnings, especially during active rain and thunderstorm episodes. It is imperative that we practice safety in order to prevent unnecessary accidents or unfortunate incidents. Thank you to all of our first responders and the linemen and women of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority, who often times risk their lives to ensure that we are safe and that our power is able to be restored in a timely fashion.”

Weather Updates

Individuals are advised to stay current on the latest weather conditions. Forecast information, including severe weather alerts and updates, is available from the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency website and the National Weather Service.

The Source Weather Page publishes a daily weather forecast, and also features weather forecast videos and disaster preparedness video segments.

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