Front Page
November 26, 2004

Torrential rains continued to wreak havoc in St. Vincent as landslides reached a high point Wednesday blocking roads, disrupting public transport and imprisoning persons in their homes.

The mudslides were numerous as a trough system dumped some 90.7 millimetres of rain between 8 p.m. Tuesday and 6 p.m. Wednesday. {{more}}

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves took command of the situation, showing a personal interest as he kept the nation informed of the state of the occurrences. He had earlier urged persons not to panic and to remain indoors in the areas most affected.

Officials from the Meteorological Office said Wednesday evening that the system was described as irregular and was said to be moving very slowly. The conditions were expected to continue yesterday and possibly extend into today.

The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) was busy all day trying to assess the damage as they stressed on residents in unstable areas to evacuate if possible and find safer ground.

Co-ordinator of NEMO Howie Prince had earlier commented that in the future persons should be more careful where they construct homes.

Areas most saturated by heavy downpours included Mesopotamia, Byera, Lowmans Windward, Sion Hill and South Rivers.

Road crews were commended on speedy work as they worked non-stop ensuring that impassable roads did not remain for too long. Heavy-duty tractors worked persistently just as the rains did.

The heavy persistent rains didn’t close business places in the capital, although a number of store-owners said customers weren’t flowing as usual. Luckily, the airport only had minor flooding where new construction is currently taking place around the perimeter fence channelled water onto the runway without incident.

Nearby, residents in Barbados also felt the intensity of the trough as villages flooded and schools were closed with some being flooded and students evacuated using benches as bridges.

Internationally, holiday travelers aiming to reach various destinations for Thanksgiving weekend were stuck with long waits for flights at several major airports in the US as severe weather hit the eastern half of the United States.

The Caribbean is holding its breath, hoping that hurricanes like Ivan are nowhere in the future, but with troughs like these who needs hurricanes. The hurricane season officially ends on November 30.