Guadeloupe was placed Monday night in red vigilance for heavy rain and thunderstorms, announced Météo France in its latest alert bulletin, because of the passage of storm Philippe near the archipelago which already drains "torrential rains".
At 17 p.m. local time on Monday (23 p.m. metropolitan time), the center of Tropical Storm Philippe was located 120 km north of the Grande Vigie. Philippe goes up along the Arc des Petites Antilles, as close as possible to the Guadeloupean coast, at about 11 km/h.
🔴 #vigilanceRouge #Guadeloupe for heavy rain and thunderstorms
Torrential and stormy rains generated by storm Philippe are still expected until tomorrow morning.
⚠️Be very careful and stay informed https://t.co/OqHB3Ahw6l pic.twitter.com/UaK5WPMSI9
— Météo-France (@meteofrance) October 3, 2023
Heavy rains began at the end of the day, they now fall continuously, accompanied by lightning and thunder. In 6 hours, it fell 314 mm at Vieux-Fort, 169.3 mm at Baillif, 109.5 mm at Saint-Claude, 106.7 mm at Vieux-Habitants and 90.5 mm at Port-Louis. Accumulations of the order of 200 to 300 mm over 24 hours are envisaged.
Gusts up to 80/90 km/h
"The wind blows unusually from south-southwest up to 40/50 km / h mainly on the coasts and the relief as well as at sea" warns the weather organization, which warns of stronger gusts up to 80/90 km / h tonight and tomorrow morning, which can occur under showers.
Here are the 11 PM AST Monday Key Messages for Tropical Storm #Philippe. Heavy rains and flooding expected over portions of the Leeward Islands tonight and Tuesday. Follow the latest at https://t.co/tW4KeGe9uJ pic.twitter.com/6LVSVZXmhk
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) October 3, 2023
The prefecture has opened a crisis unit. Some roads are already cut, according to Routes de Guadeloupe, which announced landslides and falling trees in particular. As a precaution, the RD6, linking Gourbeyre to Vieux-Fort, was closed at 19:30 p.m., and the RD23 (Route de la Traversée) at 21 p.m.
Many videos are circulating on social networks, showing different places in Guadeloupe, including South Basse-Terre, totally flooded, recalling the storm Fiona that had submerged the area on the night of September 15 to 16, 2022, causing one death.
☔️⛈️🌧️ #Guadeloupe #inondations #Pluie #VigilanceRouge 🛑 pic.twitter.com/keXq8dUoFE
— AP: Antilles Passion (@AntillesKamo97) October 3, 2023
Schools in Guadeloupe will remain closed on Tuesday. In Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, the prefect delegate decided to close schools, colleges and high schools, for the whole day. The island of Antigua and Barbuda made the same decision and all students and teachers were ordered to stay home.
The storm forced Antigua-based regional airline LIAT to cancel several flights. According to the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology and the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC), Philippe has moved a little further west than expected and is expected to head north into the Atlantic, where the storm could become a hurricane by mid-week.