Eastern Caribbean – Houses Destroyed as Rains Trigger Floods and Landslides

Several islands in the Eastern Caribbean have been affected by flooding after heavy rain caused by a caused by a slow moving trough of low pressure began to fall on 28 November, 2016.

As of 01 December, St Vincent and the Grenadines had suffered the worst of the flooding and landslides, with as much as 220 mm of rain falling in some areas. At least 15 houses have been destroyed and a further 26 severely damaged.

This is the second major flood event in St Vincent this month. On 08 November flooding on the islands left at least one person dead and another missing.

Flooding has also been reported in Barbados after over 150 mm of rain fell on 29 November. Some festivities to celebrate 50 years of independence were postponed.

Other Eastern Caribbean islands also reported torrential rains. Between 28 and 29 November, 45 mm of rain was recorded at Vc Bird International Airport in Antigua.

Hewanorra International Airport in Saint Lucia recorded 58 mm 28-29 November, 68.8 mm on 29-30 November, and 72.5 mm 30 November to 01 December.

St Vincent and the Grenadines

A flood warning was issued on 28 November for St Vincent and the Grenadines, with forecasts predicting as much as 150 mm of rain. St Vincent and the Grenadines National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) said:

“Due to the already saturated nature of the soils, residents living in landslide prone areas and in areas along the riverbanks such as Buccament Bay, Rose Place, South Rivers, Spring Village, Vermont, Roucher Bay, Mesopotamia, Sandy Bay, Georgetown, Mt. Young, Byera, Gorse, Chateaubelair, Buddy Gutter, Calliaqua, Barrouallie, Layou and Fitz- Hughes are advised to exercise extreme caution and remain on the alert.”

NEMO reported on 30 November that the heavy rain had caused widespread flooding and as many as 15 landslides.

“An Eastward moving Trough System impacted St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 28th – 29th November, 2016, producing heavy showers, resulting in flooding and landslide in several areas, mainly to the north east and north west of mainland St. Vincent.”

According to initial damage assessments, at least 15 houses have been completely destroyed and a further 26 damaged. Eight bridges and 8 roads have also been damaged.

Rainfall data from the Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) indicates that Spring Village (Convent) received 5.6 inches (142.24 mm) of rainfall between midnight and 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday 29th November, 2016. In Vermont (Dalaway), 4.2 inches (106.68 mm), Congo Valley (Jennings) 8.7 inches (220.98 mm) and South Rivers 6.3 inches (160.02) of rainfall during that period of time.

Flood damage in the North Windward Islands, St Vincent and the Grenadines, November 2016. Photo: Photos: Senator Camillo M. Gonsalves
Flood damage in the North Windward Islands, St Vincent and the Grenadines, November 2016. Photo: Senator Camillo M. Gonsalves
Flood damage in the North Windward Islands, St Vincent and the Grenadines, November 2016. Photo: Photos: Senator Camillo M. Gonsalves
Flood damage in the North Windward Islands, St Vincent and the Grenadines, November 2016. Photo: Senator Camillo M. Gonsalves
Flood damage in the North Windward Islands, St Vincent and the Grenadines, November 2016. Photo: Photos: Senator Camillo M. Gonsalves
Flood damage in the North Windward Islands, St Vincent and the Grenadines, November 2016. Photo: Senator Camillo M. Gonsalves

Barbados

Heavy rain fell in Barbados at the same time the island was about to celebrate 50 years of independence. Flooding forced several of the planned festivities to be postponed.

Barbados Fire Service was called out to rescue a dozen people trapped in their flooded homes.

Roads have been severely affected. According to local media, Ministry of Transport and Works Minister Michael Lashley visited some affected areas in St Philip and St George.

As much as 151 mm of rain was recorded in 24 hours between 29 and 30 November at Grantley Adams international airport, located in Seawell, Christ Church in Barbados.

Flood summary

Last updated: December 11, 2016
Event
Eastern Caribbean, November to December 2016
Date
November 28 to December 4, 2016
Type
Inland flood, River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall

Locations

A - Barbados (Barbados)
B - St Vincent (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)

Magnitude

Rainfall level
142.4 mm in 24 hours
Spring Village, St Vincent - November 28 to December 29, 2016
Rainfall level
220.98 mm in 24 hours
Congo Valley, St Vincent - November 28 to December 29, 2016
Rainfall level
160.02 mm in 24 hours
South Rivers, St Vincent - November 28 to November 29, 2016
Rainfall level
151 mm in 24 hours
Seawell, Christ Church in Barbados - November 29 to November 30, 2016

Damages

Buildings destroyed
15 buildings
Saint Vincent - November 29 to December 1, 2016