TS Nicole hauls heavy rainfall across Antigua and Barbuda; islands spared serious damage

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According to the Antigua and Barbuda Met Service, the sister isle was hit with nearly eight inches of rainfall over the 24 hours preceding Tuesday midday (Screengrab from video by Mohammid Walbrook)
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The heavy rains that battered Antigua for the better part of the past 48 hours also pummelled the sister isle of Barbuda, but stopped short of causing any serious infrastructural damage.

The intermittent showers, affecting much of the Leeward and British Virgin Islands, were caused by the movement of Tropical Storm Nicole, which was yesterday afternoon headed towards the Bahamas, with hurricane conditions and a ‘dangerous storm surge’ expected in portions of the country’s northwestern region.

The storm is also projected to strengthen before becoming the first hurricane to strike the US in November in nearly 40 years late Wednesday or early Thursday, with hurricane conditions expected across portions of the southeast and east-central Florida coast.

Hurricane warnings have been issued for all the aforementioned areas set to be affected in both the Bahamas and Florida.

“[Tropical Storm] Nicole is actually what is pulling the moisture across [our] area, so as Nicole continues to move further west, it’s pulling the moisture as well. So, we’re not really looking for much more showers for the rest of the day.

“Just to show how close the moisture still is to us, our neighbouring islands St Kitts and Nevis, they’re still experiencing quite a bit of rainfall whereas [for] us here in Antigua, and to a lesser extent Barbuda, the rains have subsided,” Letitia Humphreys, of the Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Service, told Observer around midday yesterday.

Humphreys revealed that up to three inches of rainfall had been recorded in the vicinity of the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium over the preceding 24 hours, while Barbuda – where a flash flood advisory was issued for minor flooding in low-lying and flood-prone areas – saw approximately eight inches over the same period.

That revelation was corroborated by Paul Nedd of the Barbuda Council.

He spoke on the conditions experienced on the sister isle, explaining that there was no significant impact to the island, despite the heavy rains.

“There was a lot of rain, I can tell you that…but nobody was affected in the sense that they had to move from where they are, because the country was very dry and therefore the earth soaked up most of the water.

“There was still a drainage overflow into the lagoon – the water runs down to the lagoon into the sea – but there wasn’t any reason for concern for life or concern for property damage, there wasn’t any of that. To make it simple, Barbuda is okay,” Nedd said.

Heavy rainfall and intense flooding have affected neighbouring countries including Dominica, St Lucia, the Dominican Republic, and even Belize within the past two weeks.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs each year from June 1 to November 30.

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