Flooding reported in Lares, Las Marías, San Sebastián, Naguabo and Maunabo
By The Star Staff
The National Weather Service (NWS) in San Juan reported flooding in the municipalities of Lares, Las Marías and San Sebastián on Thursday, issuing a flood alert in effect until late afternoon to early evening.
The NWS also reported flash floods in Río Blanco in Naguabo and Río Maunabo in Maunabo, with dangerous flood levels in some areas.
The NWS said the two rivers were at extremely high levels and there was a risk of Río Blanco flooding PR-191 and PR-3.
According to the NWS, urban and small stream flooding caused by heavy rains was expected in the aforementioned areas. In particular, low-lying and poorly drained areas would be the most affected. Increases in small streams and overflows were expected in areas that are usually dry, in addition to the accumulation of water on roads.
At 2:46 p.m., Doppler radar signaled heavy rain due to thunderstorms. The rainfall caused urban flooding in small streams. Between 1 and 2 inches of rain was recorded.
The NWS warned that additional amounts of rain between 1 and 3 inches were expected over the area, which could result in minor flooding.
The NWS urged the public not to attempt to cross flooded roads. “Turn around, don’t drown when you find flooded roads,” the agency said. “Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.”
In addition, it was recommended to be aware of the surroundings and avoid flooded roads altogether. If flooding is observed, it is vital to report it to local authorities or law enforcement, the agency said, and if it is safe to do so, communicate the information to the NWS.
The combination of saturated soils and additional rains that had been predicted for Thursday as a result of the recent passage of Tropical Storm Philippe increased the potential for flooding to elevated areas, mainly for the eastern and southern half of Puerto Rico, and for all of the U.S. Virgin Islands.