Terrifying torrent of water in Puerto Rico after dam fails, forcing 70,000 to evacuate as Hurricane Maria continues to ravage the island

Saturday, September 23, 2017
By Paul Martin

Water swept through after the dam sustained structural damage from the storm
Nearly 16 inches of rain fell in the area, significantly raising water levels on the 90-year-old dam
The National Weather Service warned that failure of the dam was ‘imminent’ and could lead to ‘life-threatening’ flash flooding
The 345-yard dam is used for public water and irrigation water supply
Up to six inches of rain is expected to fall in Puerto Rico on Saturday
As Maria moves north, it’s expected to cause surf swells that will increase along portions of the southeastern coast of the US and Bermuda

MARY KEKATOS
DAILYMAIL.COM
23 September 2017

A terrifying torrent of water swept through Puerto Rico after a dam failed at Lake Guajataca in the northwest region.

Water was seen sweeping through the municipalities of Isabela and Quebradillas after the dam sustained structural damage from Hurricane Maria.

Nearly 16 inches of rain fell in the area, significantly raising water levels on the 90-year-old dam.

Earlier, Puerto Rican authorities had scrambled to evacuate as many as 70,000 people after the National Weather Service warned that failure of the dam was ‘imminent’ and could lead to ‘life-threatening’ flash flooding.

The National Weather Service first learned of a ‘contained breach’ during a Friday afternoon inspection and said a full breach would result in large peak flows that could reach the coast in under 12 hours.

The center is urging people living in the area of the flash flood warning in the northwest to seek higher ground immediately.

The 345-yard dam, which was built in 1929, is used for public water and irrigation water supply, and the reservoir has a water storage capacity of 11 billion gallons.

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