Residents should expect to see more rain in the coming weeks as tropical waves continue to pass through the area, from as early as tomorrow night, Saturday, June 19, into the early hours of Sunday, June 20.
Another tropical wave is expected to bring additional rainfall when it moves into the area by Tuesday, June 22, but the Barbados Meteorological Services (BMS) is not anticipating that these waves will generate the same “wicked intense activity” like that which occurred in the early hours of Thursday morning.
However, officials there are advising residents to be on their guard and to remember that they were now in the hurricane season.
Acting Director of the BMS, Sabu Best, gave this caution as he addressed a press conference on Thursday evening, in the wake of what is described as a “freak event”, which resulted in damage to homes and some schools, fallen trees, and power and water outages across the island.
Mr. Best urged residents to monitor the information issued daily by the BMS via its website because situations could change on a daily basis. Alternatively, they may also visit the Google Play Store and download the BMS Insight app to their mobile devices to receive alerts. Persons must have access to Wi-Fi or data for the app to work.
He explained that an app on the website had moved the alert level from green to yellow, warning residents of the possibility of excess rainfall. “The app…is freely available from our website. You can download it; it alerts you; it talks to you, literally talks to you, and tells you what is actually going on.
“Outside of that there is cap.cap, which is another official source of getting these alerts. So, I encourage all persons out there, get equipped with these warning tools, and you will put all of us in a really good position to be well aware of these situations before they actually occur,” the Acting Director advised.
Meanwhile, Mr. Best noted, as it relates to pending tropical waves, that there was no indication that there would be a repeat of Thursday morning. But, he stressed, if there was, a yellow alert would be issued to warn residents of the pending situation.
He further advised residents to expect “more and more rain” over the next 10 to 14 days as there appeared to be an “uptick” of trending increased precipitation.
The Acting Director cautioned that Thursday’s heavy downpour had already saturated a number of areas and it would only take an inch or two of rain to result in flooding.
But he gave the assurance that there was no need for residents to panic. “We have been through this, like last year, with all those excessive rainfall events. We just have to be vigilant and keep around our communities and stuff clean and drainage unblocked,” he said.
Mr. Best reminded residents that outside of the month of June, the upcoming part of the year was conducive to heavy rainfall, and early models indicated that it was likely to start in August and September.
“We are seeing even more peaks of rainfall coming. So, building our resilience is not just about building for the near term, it is building it for months down the road. We have to be ready and be prepared for what is to come,” the Acting Director said.