The manager of the emergency management office in Mayagüez, Israel Martínez Cuevas, estimated that the damages caused by Tropical Storm Isaías in that municipality are close to $13 million, although he warned that reconnaissance work is still continuing in the different communities.
Municipal staff await this afternoon for the arrival of Gov. Wanda Vázquez, who would meet with Mayor José Guillermo Rodríguez. This was one of the municipalities most impacted by the rains that the storm left on Puerto Rico.
Martínez Cuevas explained to THE WEEKLY JOURNAL that there are several landslides and areas that are still under flooding, despite the fact that it stopped raining at night. He also highlighted that they have 125 sectors without service from the P.R. Electric Power Authority (Prepa).
“The rain has stopped since last night. At the moment, a survey is being done in the city with three working groups gathering information. Given the lack of service of the [Prepa] and for the safety of those who are doing the work, it was left for today. There are also personnel working and opening roads in the flooded places and on the roads where there were landslides," he said.
He explained that, for the time being, the preliminary estimates of the municipality are between $12 million to $13 million in damages.
"We have received over 100 calls from people reporting damage," he said. When asked what specific damage, the municipal official said there was damage to residences, roads, and power lines.
The areas most affected after the floods, according to Martínez Cuevas, were the Buenaventura urbanization and the Río Hondo, Sábalos, Balboa, and Quebrada Grande neighborhoods, among others.
He said that the Yagüez River was not the only one that came out of its channel during the storm, which implies that there were other bodies of water that caused flooding in the municipality.
Likewise, he opined that the floods caused by the Isaias storm were greater than, for example, those caused by Hurricane María in that town.
The central, south, and southwestern zones were the most affected by the atmospheric system. In fact, the storm once again exposed the vulnerability of the electrical system and potable water infrastructures as the strongest part of the 2020 hurricane season approaches.