Torrential rains, flooding continue across territory


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ST. THOMAS - Torrential rains that have drenched the territory all week caused flash floods in many areas of St. Thomas on Thursday afternoon.

While the downpour only lasted for about an hour, it dropped 1.45 inches of rain.

Luis Rosa, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in San Juan, said St. Thomas has recorded 6.46 inches of rain at King Airport since Saturday. Other parts of the island probably saw close to 10 inches of rainfall in that period.

St. Croix has seen about 5 inches of rain since Saturday, Rosa said.

Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls said the runoff from the rainstorm washed a lot of rocks, mud and debris into the roadways, particularly at the Nisky Center intersection.

Serious flooding in Crown Bay and on Main Street caused traffic to slow to a crawl.

Smalls closed off Main Street for about two hours because vehicles driving through the deep water pushed the water almost up into the shops.

Sections of asphalt were ripped up and floated away along some roads, but no other serious damage was sustained to infrastructure, Smalls said.

"We focused on the most critical areas, but we will continue to address some of the other areas that we didn't get to today," he said.

Weather permitting, Public Works crews will be out patching pot holes and other damaged areas of the territory's roadways Monday, according to Smalls.

The flooding Thursday forced the V.I. Waste Management Authority to close the Bovoni Landfill, the Susannaberg Transfer Station on St. John and the authority's offices near Frenchtown.

Rosa said the territory may see some showers tonight, but the forecast is looking drier for the weekend.

"We should be looking for a drying trend, already occurring," he said. "That should continue through the middle of next week."

Winds will be increasing Saturday, Sunday and Monday and the seas are going to get very hazardous with northeast swells and winds of 20 to 25 knots, according to Rosa.

- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email alewin@dailynews.vi.

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