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Flash Flood Watch Issued for Virgin Islands


The National Weather Service Sunday issued a flash flood watch for the U.S. Virgin Islands through 4 a.m. Tuesday, forecasting the possibility of significant rainfall over the next few days.

According to the weather service, a trough of low pressure across the Bahamas into the western Caribbean will continue to deepen and pull tropical moisture northward into the area through Tuesday morning. Upper mid-level disturbances will move eastward across the Virgin Islands over the next 48 hours and result in frequent showers and thunderstorms, some of which could produce very heavy rainfall in a short period of time due to the abundant moisture.

The National Weather Service is forecasting early Tuesday morning as having the highest probability of significant rainfall and the greatest risk of flooding, according to a statement issued Saturday by the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency. The territory may receive between three to five inches of rain or even more in localized areas, which could fall in a short period of time causing flooding of small streams and urban areas.

VITEMA joined with the National Weather Service in encouraging the community to check their preparedness requirements, to stay informed and to be ready for quick action if flooding is observed or if a flash flood warning is issued. Motorists are also advised to avoid traveling through pooled water and to avoid areas that are prone to flooding. The heavy rain could also cause mudslides in areas of steep terrain.

“We especially want to encourage everyone enjoying the carnival activities on St. Thomas, particularly those with children, to take extra precautions to be prepared for heavy downpours and use extreme caution while traversing the roadways,” said Elton Lewis, VITEMA director. “Safety must be our first priority.”

The agency urged residents to stay tuned to local radio or cable television or the NOAA weather radio for updated statements and possible warnings. Weather information and alerts and advisories are also available online at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/sju or at http://weather.gov or www.VITEMA.gov/alerts .


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