Thursday 6 August, 2020

Montego Bay Flooding: a month's worth of rain in four hours

The town of Montego Bay is still trying to recover from the deluge that roared through the resort town on Monday, flooding businesses and sweeping away cars.

Kareen Gourzong, head of the Weather Branch in the Meteorological Services, said "In four hours, Montego Bay got 94 mm of rain, that's 96 per cent of the rain it would get monthly because on average, the town receivers 102 mm in November.

"So the combination of getting all this rainfall in a short space of time, and the rainwater runoff from other areas of the watershed, plus other factors like the width of the roadways caused this flood," she added.

However, interestingly, even with what seems like a whole month of continuous rain across the parishes, Gourzong doesn't believe that the data will point to record rainfall in Jamaica for the month of November. 

West Central St James MP, Marlene Malahoo Forte looks at food items dumped outside a supermarket in Montego Bay on Thursday. (PHOTO: Twitter)

"The trend that we are seeing from the stations is not that it will be above average for the month of November, but at the end of the month, we will be able to make a determination," she said. 

Jamaica has experienced drought conditions for the years 2013 through to 2016, so the previous Novembers have been modest in recent times. Historically, checking a 30 year period, November 2006, the island experienced an average of 306 mm of rainfall across all parishes, the highest during this period. Data for this year's November, compiled by the Met Services, won't be ready until the following month. 

On Wednesday, flood rains caused significant damage and disrupted the operations of small business owners who are struggling with the cost of cleaning up from the accumulation of water and mud, as well as damage to equipment and electrical damage in some cases. 

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