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ReliefWeb Source: Agence France-Presse
Date: 23 Aug 2000

Puerto Rico faces flooding after Hurricane Debby's drenching rains

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Aug 23 - Many areas of Puerto Rico remained inaccessible Wednesday after a torrential rainstorm brought on by Hurricane Debby, as the system headed toward the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Island residents woke up to find their streets flooded and rivers overflowed as the showers fell throughout the early morning.

Many main roads in the municipalities of San Juan, Caguas, Bayamon and Carolina were closed because of flooding.

Several mudslides were reported in the mountainous central part of the island, according to local radio reports.

No casualties have been reported, but there were several minor roads accidents in San Juan.

Hurricane Debby caused little impact on Tuesday when the center of the storm veered just north of Puerto Rico. However, as the hurricane left the area, the tail end of the storm brought at least 12 inches (30 cm) of rain to many areas.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning until 11 a.m. (1500 GMT) for the entire island. Forecasters predicted more rain throughout the day.

Civil Defense crews evacuated residents in low lying areas, and many government shelters remained opened to accommodate those who were forced out of their homes. Government officials said that schools and public agencies would remain closed until further notice.

str/mdl AFP

Copyright (c) 2000 Agence France-Presse
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 08/23/2000 10:31:23

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