A CAR swallowed up in flood water over the weekend as a record amount of rainfall hit New Providence. Photo: Racardo Thomas/Tribune Staff
By PAVEL BAILEY
THERE was a record 12.37 inches of rainfall on Saturday as the western part of New Providence experienced serious flooding sparked by torrential downpour.
Wayne Neely, a veteran weather forecaster, in a post on Facebook over the weekend said the rain resulted in hurricane level flooding throughout the western part of New Providence including the areas of Cable Beach, West Bay Street and Coral Harbour.
In explaining the significance of the flooding, which left several cars stalled out on the road, Mr Neely said that it is not unusual for rain in May but this level of rainfall is unprecedented, with the average rainfall for the month only hitting around six inches.
Basil Dean, former deputy director in the Meteorology Department, echoed Neely’s sentiments that this was a near record amount of rainfall in the nation’s capital.
A resident of Cable Beach himself, Mr Dean described how he had to use water boots to get from his house to his vehicle and that his driveway’s concrete pyramids were under at least 12 inches of water.
Mr Dean, however, said that there should be gradual improvement in the weather over the next few days.
“We will start to see some improvements in rain patterns soon. On Monday there could be morning showers and another round in the afternoon, but by Tuesday things should start to level off. But in looking back at these weekend events it was a phenomenal amount of rainfall, especially considering the average rainfall for May averages around six inches normally.”
Mr Neely further remarked that The Bahamas stands a higher risk of more intense flooding incidents occurring in the future due to effects of climate change and a higher water table in New Providence.
“This does not bode well for the country with the higher water table and climate change flooding will become more frequent if not the norm. Flooding is getting more severe and we are going to feel the brunt of it,” Mr Neely said.
Mr Neely said the Meteorological Department could no longer be put on the backburner.
“Gone are the days of the government putting the Meteorological Department and the weather on the back burner. This is now a priority and the best the government can do is try to mitigate flooding in the country.”
When asked what the public can do in the face of increasing flood risks and the upcoming hurricane season, Mr Neely recommended that they prepare for both floods and hurricanes by renewing their insurance and ensuring that they have the necessary supplies in stock.