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Early warning of floods

Carol Ann Tudor

Early warning of floods

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BARBADIANS in the north awoke in the wee hours of yesterday to the sounds of rushing water, flooded houses and missing cars when the island suffered the effects of a trough system overnight.
But while most were caught off-guard, the Barbados Meteorological Services said it had announced since last Friday that a trough was affecting the island, and was expected to intensify on Monday.
However, meteorologist Cammie Burke admitted that the thunderstorms and the intensity of the system were unexpected because the island was still in the dry season.
 “While we would have forecast for showers, we would not have [predicted] thunderstorms because we are in the dry season, so that sort of intensity was not expected; it was more or less unseasonal activity,” Burke stated.
As radar imagery showed decreases in shower activity around daybreak, Barbadians ventured out and started their clean-up in areas like Gills Terrace and Rose Hill No.1, St Peter.
Though apparently not suffering as badly, areas like Round-the-Town, The Whim, Queen Street and Shermans in St Peter, Colleton, Benthams and Greenidges, Pickerings, Alexandria and Northumberland were all affected by the heavy overnight showers.
Director of the Department of EmergencyManagement (DEM), Judy Thomas, who was first spotted at the District “E” Police Station with Inspector Branch, acting deputy director of DEM, Robert Harewood, and Wesley Nicholas, technical operator monitoring incoming calls for help and coordinating response teams, noted they had been on the job since 1 a.m.
Thomas pointed out that the Fire Service had rescued 73-year-old Evelyn Scantlebury, who was trapped in her home at Mile and A Quarter, and a team had been sent to Ridley Greene Jr, who had asked to be rescued from his shop on Queen Street, St Peter, after 1 a.m.
Around 7:30 a.m. Member of Parliament for St Peter Owen Arthur, was spotted checking up on residents at Gills Terrace who had suffered serious damage to their homes. He was then spotted again at Rose Hill No.1 where four cars washed downhill in the strong currents during the night.
Democratic Labour Party representative Haynesley Benn was also present on that scene.
As the morning progressed, Drainage Units were quickly put in place clearing debris from affected roads.