Tropical depression dumps buckets of rain on V.I., causing road damage, flash flooding Damage reports
Published: September 7, 2013
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ST. THOMAS - A torrential downpour left the territory damp and dirty Friday morning.
The Virgin Islands was awash with branches, rocks and mud after the islands were drenched by remnants of Tropical Storm Gabrielle on Thursday and Friday.
St. Thomas took the brunt of the storm, which had mostly dissipated by Friday morning, according to Ernesto Rodriguez, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Puerto Rico.
St. Thomas received 2.8 inches of rain in the span of two hours alone, 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday. In the span of 72 hours, between Tuesday afternoon and Friday afternoon, St. Thomas received 7.35 inches of rain.
St. Croix received 3.8 inches of rain in the same 72-hour period. The bulk of its rainfall came in the morning and afternoon Thursday, though its showers were less torrential. St. John's rainfall is not recorded by the National Weather Service, though Rodriguez said that it likely received the least rainfall based on the system's pattern.
Still, the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency received reports of fallen trees, downed power lines and flooded roads on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John.
"It was pretty intense," said Christine Lett, spokeswoman for VITEMA. "It's been a while since we have received this much rain, probably since 2010."
The V.I. Public Works Department oversaw the bulk of the cleanup Friday, gathering debris and removing mud from roadways. The Fire Service, Police Department and the V.I. Water and Power Authority assisted.
"There was no significant damage," said V.I. Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls. "We actually fared pretty well this time."
Smalls did not want to estimate the cost of the damages done across the territory, since the Public Works Department still is assessing the storm's cost, he said. Granted, the damage was relatively minor, he said, and much of it was manageable, even for the community.
"We saw people pulling tires, doors - and even a mattress was down on Main Street," Smalls said of some of the larger debris that had washed up on the roads, mostly from drainage ditches which are sometimes used to dispose of people's unwanted property.
The territory is not expected to receive the same volume of rain during the weekend, though it likely will see some showers.
"We are seeing that the remnants of the system are moving away from the region," Rodriguez said.
- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
VITEMA dispatchers received an onslaught of reports from residents on St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas during the heavy rains on Thursday and Friday. The majority of those calls were from St. Thomas.
Some of the St. Thomas reports included:
Bolongo Bay: Flooding.
Nadir (Bridge to Nowhere): Flooding, light pole sparking and cars stuck in the water.
Brookman Road: Road closed due to flooding, roadway collapsed and cars stuck in water.
Frenchman's Bay: Debris in the roadway, road undermined and hillside came down in resident's yard.
Kronprindsens Gade: Manhole cover came off.
Estate Pearl: Flooding.
Contant: Flooding, One family in need of shelter
Northside: Trees down in the roadway.
Northstar Village: Roadside undermined.
Soldberg: Debris and boulders in the roadway
Crown Mountain: Landslide blocking 90 percent of roadway
Honduras: Flooding, debris
Veterans Drive: Flooding, debris
Mandela Circle: Flooding
Four Corners: Debris and boulders in the roadway