No significant damage from high winds – CDC

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The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) said the high winds experienced on Wednesday morning did not result in any major damage across Guyana’s coast.

Following the period of high winds, the CDC activated its National Emergency Monitoring Systems (NEMS) and dispatched teams to assess possible damage that may have occurred.

Though several yards were found flooded, the agency said there was no significant damage.

“There were sporadic reports of slight damages that were controlled by householders while three (3) households in Vryheid’s Lust, Success and Lamaha Park (Demerara-Mahaica); and two (2) at Westberry and Line Dam Queenstown on the Essequibo Coast (Pomeroon-Supenaam) suffered varying degrees of damages to rooftops,” the CDC said in a statement.

A flooded yard on the Coast following Wednesday morning’s rainfall (CDC photo)

It added that some public infrastructure including the commentator’s booth at Uitvlugt Community Centre ground were damaged while live wires were burst from main poles to private homes at De Groute, West Bank Demerara.

Bartica (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) reported severe flooding and the Regional Disaster Response Management Services (RDRMS) will continue to monitor activities in the regions with support from CDC.

The high winds lasted from 03:00h to about 6:00h on Wednesday.

A flooded yard on the Coast following Wednesday morning’s rainfall (CDC photo)

Meteorologist at the Hydromet Office, Lyndon Alves told the News Room in a telephone interview that “you had two things occurring this morning (Wednesday, July 08, 2020)- generally the winds along Guyana’s coast would be between 3-6 metres per second, however, last night we had much higher winds to that coupled with the thunderstorm that we had. Because of the thunderstorm…we had gust fronts pushing into Guyana…that would have increased the wind speed even more.”

A gust front is a line of dangerously gusty winds created by certain weather conditions. When a downdraft from a raining thunderstorm hits the ground, it spreads out in all directions.

Alves simplified it by stating that “a simple experiment you can do is just put some flour on the ground or some powder and just hold something and drop it inside, you’ll realise that when that object drops, the flour just lifts off and push out, that’s what you call gust fronts.”

Damage to a structure following Wednesday morning’s rainfall (CDC photo)

The Hydromet office was criticized for not issuing timely warnings on such weather conditions.

In response, Alves said the department had already stated in its weather forecast that the wind will be gusting to a certain valley but “how much the wind will gust by, it is very difficult that because each storm system is different.”

According to the Meteorologist, wind speed is mostly 2-3 metres per second in the night and 5-7 metres per second in the day. However, the weather station at Ogle, East Coast Demerara recorded winds at 8 metres per second on Wednesday morning while at Timehri, the gust went to 14 miles per second.

Rainfall records for the previous 24 hours, measured at 08:00h Wednesday showed the highest to be 63.3 mm recorded at Mabaruma in Region 1.

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