The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season chimed in Monday with a torrential rain storm that hammered St. Thomas and St. John. Rains that began in late afternoon brought thunder and vivid lightning bolts.
The storm also caused havoc with road conditions and sporadic power outages.
The National Weather Service of San Juan predicts a similar picture for Tuesday as the weather system known as Invest 99L moves to the northwest.
“Scattered to numerous showers and isolated thunderstorms are forecast to mainly affect Eastern PR, the USVI and tropical waters. isolated showers are possible elsewhere. Seas up to 6 feet and winds up to 20 knots are expected across the regional waters. Locally higher seas are possible near areas of showers and thunderstorms,” according to an NWS advisory posted at weather.gov.
Flash flood advisories were issued around 6 pm Monday and were originally predicted to last until 10 pm. The advisory was extended until 3:45 am Tuesday.
Along Centerline Road on St. John, rains brought fallen rocks and torrents of water running in swales at the side of the road. A tree was toppled into the eastbound lane in lower Carolina and again near Pastory.
Public utilities stayed up through most of the night but power outages began appearing towards daybreak. Water and Power Authority Communications Director Jean Greaux Jr. said emergency crew were addressing several areas on St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix.
“Line crews were dispatched to numerous isolated service interruptions across the island,” Greaux said. On St. John those areas include Estate Bellevue, Chocolate Hole, Estate Carolina, Hansen Bay and Haulover.
Motorists traveling to Cruz Bay were diverted to Bethany Road after Centerline Road became impassible. Unconfirmed reports said utility lines had fallen in the area.
The WAPA spokesman said emergency crews are expected to work throughout the day to restore power.
NWS has also issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for St. Thomas-St. John for Tuesday. Those playing or traveling by water are cautioned against moderate rip currents, choppy seas on the Atlantic side and the possibility of waterspouts.
Forecasters say if the passing weather system strengthens it could become Tropical Storm Gert.