Sustained heavy rainfall brought flooding and disruptions to the capital Praia and other areas on the island of Santiago on Saturday, September 12, leaving several major roads impassable. Numerous properties and vehicles are reported to have been damaged in the deluge, with the worst flooding occurring in the Paiol, Lem Cachorro, Calabaceira, and Pensamento areas of the capital.
The flooding came as a tropical wave system settled over Cape Verde, bringing the threat of several days of severe weather across the islands. According to the Cape Verdean National Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics (INMG), the system is expected to remain close to the islands until at least Monday, September 14, and is likely to intensify into a tropical depression in the coming days, bringing a continued risk of heavy rain and flooding through Monday.
Although hurricanes often begin their formation in the waters around Cape Verde, they rarely reach hurricane strength close to the Islands. Most hurricanes form between August and October in the area south of the islands following a tropical wave from mainland Africa before moving west across the Atlantic. However, tropical wave and depression systems occasionally form closer to the islands, bringing torrential rainfall and flooding.
The current tropical wave system comes less than a week after Tropical Storm Rene passed over the country's northern islands. However, the risk of flooding on Santiago from the system is expected to be increased following three years of drought on the island.
Those in areas forecast to be affected by the storm system are advised to monitor local weather reports, confirm flight reservations, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, and anticipate adverse weather and transportation disruptions. Moving floodwaters can be extremely dangerous and travelers should never attempt to drive or walk through flooded streets. Floodwater may also contain wastewater and chemical products and present significant health risks.
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