The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

August 1, 2013

Puerto Rico sees too much rain

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Ricans are used to wet tropical weather, but the past few weeks have unleashed a series of storms of almost biblical proportions, destroying hundreds of homes, sweeping away cars and leaving tens of thousands without power.

It has been the wettest July ever recorded in the U.S. island territory, with 14 inches so far drenching the capital. More rain fell on July 18 than had ever come down in a 24-hour period.

The rain rarely stopped that day, with 9 inches pelting the San Juan area. People fled homes and cars as water rushed through doors and then windows. Rising floodwaters stranded drivers on highways turned lagoons. Some commuters were forced to use kayaks and paddle boards.

“I’ve lived here 71 years, and this was the worst,” said Andres Colon as he tried to repair his flooded car in a working class San Juan neighborhood of Santurce. “It came fast and without warning.”

The storm severely damaged some 500 homes and caused about $1.5 million in losses, according to initial estimates, said San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz.

The territory is just over two months into a seven-month rainy season, and it is already the second wettest start of the year for the region, even though no major tropical storm or hurricane has hit. Nearly 50 inches of rain have fallen so far, and more is likely on the way: Remnants of Tropical Storm Dorian were projected to slog through the Caribbean a bit north of the island by Monday or Tuesday.

The deluge follows hard on a string of other wet years. The rainiest year on record was 2010, when 89.5 inches fell.

The island’s totals have been trending upward, in part because of warmer ocean temperatures and frequent occurrences of the weather phenomenon known as La Nina, which leads to a more active hurricane season, according to the National Weather Service.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World
  • Rebels release train with bodies from jet

    HRABOVE, Ukraine — Bowing to international pressure, pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, four days after it plunged into rebel-held eastern ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Gaza death toll passes 560

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A high-level attempt by the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state to end deadly Israel-Hamas fighting was off to a rough start Monday: Gaza’s Hamas rulers signaled they won’t agree to an unconditional ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Perry sending Guard troops to border

    AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Rick Perry is deploying up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border over the next month to combat what he said Monday were criminals exploiting a surge of children pouring into the U.S. illegally. ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Better weather to aid in fire fight

    SPOKANE, Wash. — Calmer winds and cooler temperatures were allowing firefighters to go on the offensive Monday against a destructive wildfire that has charred hundreds of square miles of terrain in Washington State and is the largest in ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Gay, transgender workers gain U.S. bias protection

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Monday ordered employment protection for gay and transgender employees who work for the federal government or for companies holding federal contracts, telling advocates he embraced the “irrefutable ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Senate race zeroes in on metro Atlanta, north Ga.

    FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Neither Republican running in Georgia’s closely watched Senate race has a natural advantage in metro Atlanta, where the state’s most populous area and a ring of northern exurbs are serving as the key battleground ...

    July 21, 2014

  • How a flood of kids upset immigration debate

    WASHINGTON — The nation’s yearlong deliberation over immigration has taken a head-snapping detour....

    July 21, 2014

  • Kerry makes bid for cease-fire

    WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry is heading back to the Middle East as the Obama administration attempts to bolster regional efforts to reach a ceasefire and sharpens its criticism of Hamas in its conflict with Israel....

    July 21, 2014

  • U.S. outlines case against Russia on downed plane

    WASHINGTON — Video of a rocket launcher, one surface-to-air missile missing, leaving the likely launch site. Imagery showing the firing. Calls claiming credit for the strike. Recordings said to reveal a cover-up at the crash site....

    July 21, 2014

  • Top school may benefit health

    CHICAGO — Disadvantaged teens may get more than an academic boost by attending top-notch high schools — their health may also benefit, a study suggests. Risky health behavior including binge-drinking, unsafe sex and use of hard drugs was ...

    July 21, 2014