Flooding and traffic gridlock as downpours hit Island
Roads were hit by severe flooding as two and a half inches of rain fell in torrential downpours yesterday.
Cars were forced onto the sidewalks, with large pools of water collecting on key routes such as North Shore Road and Middle Road, leading to gridlock all over the Island.
The central area of Pembroke was among the worst affected, with Bakery Lane under four feet of water in the late morning.
Mill Creek, Bermudas number one flooding hot spot, escaped relatively unscathed with a mere six inches early in the morning; the tide was in its favour, according to businesses.
North Shore Road in Hamilton Parish, Cobbs Hill in Warwick, Palmetto Road in Devonshire, Marsh Folly and Serpentine Road in Pembroke all suffered serious flooding.
Bermuda Weather Service said the torrential downpour began at 4am, and 2.49 inches of rain fell by noon, the first time more than two inches fell in a single day for eight months, when a precipitation of 2.05 inches was recorded on October 4, 2011.
By comparison, 1.58 inches of rain had fallen in the whole of June before yesterday. However, the total rainfall for the year so far, 17.10 inches, remains well below the average 23.90 inches.
Stephen Roberts, a manager at Redlaser electronics on Bakery Lane, said: It was four feet at its highest point. Thats not the worst we have seen, but its definitely close to it. I was stuck inside most of the time.
We are in a strange way one of the luckiest because the building we are in has three points of entrance.
Its generally not as bad as it used to be. Since they did some work on drainage we get flooded two or three times a year. It used to be ten times.
Scott Johnson, of Johnsons Marine Services on Mill Creek Lane, said: The tide was high in the morning, but after one or two hours it was gone.
With all the water I was expecting it to be much worse. I think the tide was in our favour at the right time.
Mr Johnson said work has been done to alleviate ongoing flooding problems, but it has not been completely effective because drainage equipment has not been adequately maintained.
They did some modification down there, but its got clogged up with trash, he said.
Speaking about yesterdays rainfall, Bermuda Weather Service meteorologist Michelle Pitcher said: This is not an unusual amount when you consider the weather features that have and are currently passing through the area.
There is a surface low pressure centre that is slowly moving from our near west to our near south. The proximity of the low has placed our area under a triple point, which is the point that a cold front, warm front, and occluded front meet.
Remember that Bermuda is relatively small compared to the weather systems that move through the North Atlantic.
The heaviest rain and most unsettled conditions do not always pass directly over the Island or through our marine area.
This time we just happen to be in the right location for the heaviest rain to pass over us while the active thunderstorms remained about 75 miles to our south.
l Heavy rain has washed out the annual Fathers Day that had been set for Westgate inmates this weekend.
With Malabar Field out of commission, the fifth annual event is to be rescheduled by Corrections for a date in the new future, according to Attorney General Kim Wilson.
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