Heavy rains accompanied by thunderstorms drenched St. Lucia on Christmas Eve yesterday, resulting in electricity blackouts, landslides, damage and blockage to roads, bridges and homes across the island while leaving thousands of last-minute shoppers and workers stranded across the island.
As the island celebrates Christmas Day today, some people would have slept or stayed awake overnight at businesses, community shelters, churches, by friends and families, or at the homes of Good Samaritans. Some would have crashed at bus stands.
The rains began early Tuesday but by midday, reports surfaced that some roads, homes and businesses in Bexon, Cul De Sac and Castries were flooded. At that time, most southerners reported experiencing no rain and boasted about it on mobile messengers.
By 8 p.m., the island was affected by cloudy skies, scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms associated with what the local weather authorities said were associated with a “trough system in the vicinity of the Lesser Antilles”.
In its midday Christmas Eve forecast, the MET Office had warned that residents in areas prone to flooding and landslides are asked to exercise caution. Small craft operators and sea bathers are advised to exercise caution due to rough seas”.
This media house did not receive the usual 6 pm weather update from the MET Office and the last report on the Office’s website was its 12 noon weather update.
Meanwhile, as the day winded down yesterday, the situation only got worst. Hundreds of people were left stranded in Rodney Bay, Gros Islet after the Bois D’ Orange bypass road/bridge was rendered impassable by raging waters. This resulted in a nightmarish traffic jam. Emergency workers also had to rescue a driver who was trapped after motorist tried to brave the flooded alternate route to Corinth.
According to weather.com, the chances of rain falling today, Christmas Day will be 60 percent. The site says scattered showers are expected throughout today.
The following are some of the reports obtained by St. Lucia News Online via Blackberry Messenger.
* CASTRIES: Knee-deep water left many stranded throughout the city. Businesses, notably the fast food joints, in the boulevard were flooded. Some customers were seen sitting on tables. Jeremie Street, some CDC apartments, sections of the Vigie airport and low-lying areas in Vigie were under water.
* BRIDGES: The Piaye Bridge was reportedly destroyed while bridges in Anse La Raye, Grand Riviere, Dennery, Riviere Mitan, Marchand, Grand Riviere (Dennery), the Black Bay bridge and Canaries were reported to be blocked and/or damaged.
LANDSLIDES: NEMO reported that a landslide occurred in Anse La Verde. Landslides also reported in Marigot; Ti Rocher, Castries, and many other places across the island.
ELECTRICITY BLACKOUTS: Were reported in Babonneau, Marisule, Monchy, La Fueille, Beausejour, and Caymange, La Guerre, Vieux Seriure, Entrepot, Trouya, Odsan, Mon Repos, Morne Du Don, Fond Assau, Micoud, Jacmel, Baata, Bishop’s Gap area, Aux Lyon (Dennery), Desruisseaux, Bocage, Vieux-Fort North, Morne Serpant, Bexon, and other places across the island.
FLOODING was also reported in Belair, New Development in La Croix; La Clery, Vigie, Bexon, Faux-A-Chaud, and Hospital Road.
Telecommunications service across the island was disrupted due to downed lines, among other factors.