Friday, October 01, 2010

Deadly Stormin' in Jamaica

The US Embassy closed early on Wednesday, as the flood waters on the street began to threaten the commute home. And the US Embassy stayed closed all day Thursday, barring emergency services for American Citizens in the country, and PD contacted local media asking visa applicants to stay home and stay safe.

Staying dry, however, is not an option for some Jamaicans this week. The rain was combined with intense wind last night, and that was after more than two days of heavy rain had already overwhelmed Kingston's poor drainage infrastructure.

According to a BBC report, the death tole from the flooding had reached five victims by Thursday afternoon. This is easy to believe - the rivers running through some of the major roads in the capital city were carrying coconut sized boulders as if they were beach balls. 

Tropical Storm Nicole, which grew out of Tropical Depression #16 over the past few days, appears to remain stuck over Jamaica, despite earlier reports that it would be on its way to wreak havoc in Eastern Florida by this time.

According to the Jamaican Weather Service, a flash flood warning remains in effect through Friday.


September 30, 2010 – 5:00 p.m.
The Meteorological Service has extended the Flash Flood Warning for low-lying and flood prone areas of all parishes until 5:00 p.m. tomorrow.
A FLASH FLOOD WARNING means flooding has been reported or will occur shortly. Motorists and pedestrians should not attempt to cross flooded roadways or other low-lying areas as strong currents are likely. Residents in low-lying areas should be on the alert for rising waters and be ready to move quickly to higher ground.

Although Tropical Storm Nicole has dissipated there is a broad area of low pressure that extends from the Bahamas, across Cuba, Jamaica and sections of the western Caribbean. Radar reports and data collected from weather stations across the island indicate that throughout the day scattered light to moderate showers and thunderstorms, which were heavy at times, affected most parishes.

The broad area of low pressure will continue to influence weather conditions across the island for the next 48 to 72 hours. The forecast is for continued showers and thunderstorms to affect Jamaica for at least the next two days.

Due to the gusty winds and above normal wave heights north and south of the island, fishers and other marine interests are being advised not to venture far from port.

The Meteorological Service will continue to monitor the progress of this system.

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