The first effects of the storm Fiona were felt Friday evening in Guadeloupe, placed in red vigilance for heavy rains and thunderstorms shortly before 6 p.m. Some roads were already waterlogged in the evening, especially on Basse-Terre, where the bulk of the phenomenon is expected during the night. In some areas, rainfall could exceed 200 mm cumulatively, with risks of floods and floods.
Heavy and stormy showers until midday
According to the latest bulletin from the Guadeloupe Meteorological Center, the center of storm Fiona was at midnight “in the Caribbean 40 km from Basse-Terre” and was moving west. Gusty winds were expected “up to 100/120 km / h” in Guadeloupe overnight, according to meteorologists.
Heavy rains generating “numerous floods” were expected to intensify over the following hours and last until early morning, often accompanied by thunderstorms, with cumulative rains of up to 150 mm or more in three hours.
Many heavy and stormy showers were expected until midday, according to the Guadeloupe Meteorological Center. Météo-France has also maintained orange vigilance for “violent winds” and “waves-submersion”. “All trips are to be avoided from now on (…) you really have to stay at home” to “avoid risks being taken”, insisted the prefect of Guadeloupe, Alexandre Rochatte, Friday evening in the media local.
Air traffic suspended
The Saint-Louis road, “whose ford has already overflowed” was to be closed at 6 p.m. local time and the Traversée road at 7 p.m. “due to the risk of the risk of falling trees”, indicated the prefecture in a press release published Friday at the end of the afternoon. “Air traffic will be suspended from 7 p.m. tonight until tomorrow Saturday at 12 p.m.” and will only resume depending on weather conditions, the statement also said.
Storm Fiona was initially supposed to touch the Guadeloupe archipelago but “descended a little further south than expected”, according to Météo-France, which placed Martinique on orange alert “heavy rains and thunderstorms”.
All schools in Guadeloupe closed at noon (6:00 p.m. in Paris) and many residents tidied the terraces, busy removing potential projectiles, likely to create damage under the effects of the wind.
In the supermarkets of the island, the queues at the checkout had been long Friday morning. In particular, customers had stocked up on water packs, to compensate for the cuts that often occur during bad weather. “I took three, that should be enough until Sunday, when the sun should come back”, testified Mylène H., 56, in the rays with a shopping cart filled with water and canned goods, “in case “.
All weekend activities such as sports competitions, or Heritage Days, have been canceled due to the arrival of the storm. The Heritage Days may be postponed “to a later date” said the prefecture on Friday morning in a press release.
According to Météo France, Fiona “formed in the center of the Atlantic on September 15” and “this is the 6th tropical system of the season in the Atlantic basin”. September 16 is also the anniversary of Cyclone Hugo, a category 5 hurricane that devastated the island in 1989.