Puerto Rico Dam Failing; Flash Flood Emergency Declared

by
September 23, 2017

Hurricane-MariaA dam in northwest Puerto Rico is failing, causing flash flooding and prompting emergency evacuations Friday, the National Weather Service said.

Operators of the Guajataca Dam said it failed at 2:10 p.m. ET, prompting the NWS to issue a flash flood emergency warning for Isabela and Quebradillas municipalities, home to some 70,000 people, the agency said in three tweets.

“This is an EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SITUATION. Busses are currently evacuating people from the area as quickly as they can,” NWS San Juan said.

Details remained sketchy about the evacuation with communications hampered after the storm. The 345-yard (316-meter) dam holds back a manmade lake covering about 2 square miles and was built decades ago, U.S. government records show.

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