Floods strike Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico declared a state of emergency Thursday after flooding ousted hundreds of people from their homes.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | November 14, 2003


Puerto Rico declared a state of emergency Thursday after flooding ousted hundreds of people from their homes.

The towns of Guayama, Salinas, Maunabo and Santa Isabel were hardest hit.

In Salinas, on the south coast, more than 100 people were displaced.

Heavy rain swelled rivers and triggered landslides across the eastern section of the island.

At least 10 rivers flooded and landslides blocked more than 30 roads and 15 bridges, according to the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency.

More than 400 people were evacuated after up to 18 inches of rain fell beginning Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Up to 15 inches of rain fell in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and St. Croix was hardest hit.

A tropical front merged with a low-pressure area to spawn torrential rain, said forecasters. This amount of rainfall hits Puerto Rico only about twice each decade.


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