Just more than a week after Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico, another round of heavy rain threatens to worsen the already dire situation.
According to an alert issued by the National Weather Service on Friday, the U.S. territory is in risk of “potentially life-threatening flash flooding” in areas around the damaged Guajataca Dam and heavy rainfall up to four inches is expected across the island.
“This will exacerbate the current situation in Puerto Rico and lead to additional flooding concerns,” the forecast reads.
The rain is expected to last throughout the weekend and increase the risk of hazardous rip currents on the northern coast of Puerto Rico. The U.S. Virgin Islands, also damaged from Hurricane Maria, are within the storm’s projected path as well.
Puerto Rico is already struggling to rebuild in the aftermath of Maria, with thousands of residents without food, water or power nine days after the hurricane first hit. More than 90% of the island is still without cell phone reception, CNN reported Friday.
Further flooding could jeopardize relief efforts. The U.S. government has already been accused of not doing enough to help the commonwealth, of which all of its residents born there are American citizens.
President Donald Trump is expected to visit Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Tuesday. During a speech on tax reform Friday, he pledged that his administration would not rest “until the people of Puerto Rico are safe.”
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