Showers and thunderstorms today dumped 4.5 inches of rainfall on Barbados in three hours, causing widespread flash floods that threatened house occupants in St. George and St. Michael, and left cars under water in various parts of the island.

The downpour, caused by a tropical wave interacting with a trough system, has forced the extension of a mid-day flood-warning deadline for the nation to 6 p.m. today. Thus, residents in flood-prone areas should remain on the alert and take the necessary precautions against rising water levels, advised the Barbados Meteorological Services, at the Grantley Adams International Airport.

The Department of Emergency Management (DEM) reported that the Royal Barbados Police Force, St. George North and South District Emergency Organisations and the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) went to the aid of a woman at Charles Rowe Bridge, St. George, after water flowed into her house through the front door. The situation was resolved with the occupant deciding not to leave the residence.

At Neils Plantation, St. Michael, two elderly people were trapped in their home. The Barbados Fire Service (BFS) sent a rescue tender to their assistance. The BDF was also deployed. However, the residents no longer needed evacuation since the water was already receding.

DEM added that two houses at Cherry Grove No.2, St. John were surrounded by water while another at Charles Rowe Bridge was also under threat from the deluge.

A Henley, St. John house owner was not at home when his 500 baby chicks were lost in flood waters. The basement of another house, occupied by a son, was flooded and the household contents damaged. The resident is getting assistance with the cleanup of debris.

The Ministry of Education and Human Resources officially closed the Olga Miller Nursery School at Six Roads, St. Philip; Princess Margaret Secondary, of the same address, and St. James Secondary at Trents, St. James.

Harrison’s Cave in Welchman Hall, St. Thomas discontinued tours for the rest of the day.

Throughout the day, teams comprising BDF, BFS, Transport, Works and International Transport, DEM operatives and members of the Roving Response Team, were deployed to give the on-the-ground situation reports and evacuate trapped persons. At the Warrens Industrial Park Headquarters of the DEM, volunteers manned the radio telecommunications network. (TA)

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