Number 938 • Friday, October 19, 2012

SKN Recovering from Effects of TS Rafael
By LK Hewlett
Clean up efforts (Photo: Keeth France)
Ferry Terminal after the storm (Photo: Keeth France)
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St. Kitts has almost completely recovered from Tropical Storm Rafael which dumped heavy rains on the island last weekend and Monday.

While wind gusts did little damage to homes and other structures, several trees were toppled and large signs uprooted. The crux of the damage was caused by the torrential rain, NEMA Head Carl Herbert informed.

He said between Saturday 8am-Sunday 8am the storm dumped 5.35 inches of rain on St. Kitts. The Meteorological Office informed that 11.87 inches of rain was recorded between 8am Saturday and 2pm Monday.

There was no infrastructural damage, Herbert reported, just the usual ghaut flooding and debris pile ups associated with heavy rainfalls. TS Rafael, he said, was classified as a rain storm.

“There was a lot of silt and mud and debris that ended on some roads and of course the normal blockage down by the Ferry Terminal, he said, adding that there were some challenges with regard water and electricity outages and telephone issues that maintenance crews had responded to in the days after the storm.

Herbert raised the issue of persons who refused to heed warnings about driving vehicles across ghauts during storms and said a few had to be rescued during TS Rafael.

“There were a few persons who apparently did not heed our calls to not cross ghauts and water courses and so a few vehicles got damaged and one or two persons had to be rescued. There were no reported injuries. So from that perspective I think people need to pay more attention to what information we send out,” he said.

Herbert spoke to complaints from members of the public that they had no warning about the impending storm and thus were caught off guard. He said he took to the airwaves and on Saturday NEMA issued a press notice as well.

“I don’t know what would have contributed to that because on Friday and on Saturday I said something. What happened was it was a trough system and normally there is no quantity of rainfall and normally it would move from a trough to a Tropical Depression and then to a storm but this moved from trough quickly to Tropical Storm,” he explained.

Herbert advised persons to continue paying attention to weather systems in the region during the remainder of the 2012 Hurricane Season and not wait until storm effects were being felt to secure property or seek supplies.