Western washout

Traffic came to a crawl along Highway 1 in the area of Gibbes and Mullins, St. Peter as motorists manoeuvred through the water.

Major flooding in some sections of Barbados today brought vehicular traffic to a virtual standstill in most cases and diversions in others.

Along portions of Sion Hill, St. James the water was so high in the road, that motorists were forced to drive on the side walk and at snail’s pace.

The floods also caused a temporary halt to some businesses in the area.

The torrents of water also found themselves down stream with the most telling impact at the bridge in Gibbes, St. Peter and more particularly along the Mullins, section on the west coast.

At Gibbes, the water reached as high as about two feet as it rushed across the street and dropped into a shallow ditch like a waterfall. Initially all low level vehicles had no other choice but to divert on reaching the bridge, but as the waters gradually receded, they slowly made their way through.

However, the postman for the area was not so fortunate. He had to park his motorcycle on the western end of the flooded bridge and wait.

At Mullins, it was like gridlock because of the estimated one and a half feet high churning water which descended on that area, free movement on that normally bustling highway, was significantly stymied. In fact, it had to be used as though it was a one lane.

Once motorists had reached the flooded section, one lane of traffic was compelled to stop and allow the oncoming lane to proceed through the “river” of water and vice versa.

The driver of at least one motor car felt it necessary to park in a side road and wait until some of the water had receded before attempting to make it through.

Officials at the Government’s Meteorological Office at Grantley Adams International Airport told Barbados TODAY this afternoon, that the flooding was caused by very heavy rains in the central and northern parts of the island.

Met Officer David Best said the country experienced localised showers and thunder storms brought on by light winds which facilitated adequate amounts of moisture in the atmosphere. He also said the elements which caused the bad weather today had now diminished, but that satellite images were suggesting a repeat tomorrow.

The Department of Emergency Management said it had no reason to put its various agencies into action as a result of the bad weather and the resulting flooding.

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