Uruguay's capital Montevideo was hit by hit by more than a month's worth of rain within just 1 hour on January 17, 2022, leaving streets underwater and forcing more than 150 people to evacuate their homes.
According to the interim mayor of Montevideo, Federico Grana, the flooding was a result of an extraordinary meteorological event that brought between 90 and 150 mm (3.5 – 5.9 inches) of rain in just 1 hour. The capital's average January rainfall is 92 mm (3.6 inches).1
Between 50 – 100 mm (2 and 4 inches) of rain were registered in downtown Montevideo, with 50 to 120 mm (2 – 5 inches) recorded in Canelones, according to data provided by INEMET.
The highest rainfall total was reported in Carrasco where 147 mm (6 inches) fell.
Most of the rain fell between 05:00 and 07:00 LT.
The storm was accompanied by strong winds which downed trees and power lines, leaving more than 20 000 people without power.
— Jason Nicholls (@jnmet) January 17, 2022
— Estación bcp Meteorología (@Estacion_bcp) January 17, 2022
Traffic and public transport were severely disrupted across the region, with the neighborhoods of Malvín, Carrasco, Buceo, Punta Gorda and Punta de Rieles affected particularly bad.
Uruguay’s Ministry of Interior reported 164 people had evacuated their homes. Firefighters attended 248 interventions across affected areas, including 67 incidents of fallen trees and 9 downed power poles.
There have been no reports of deaths or injuries.
In addition to the intensity of the rainfall, the extremely dry state of the ground due to an ongoing drought likely added to the severity of the floods. Ground that is very dry is less able to absorb water which causes an excess of runoff, especially if the rain is coming down as quickly as it did Monday morning.2
1 Uruguay – Floods in Montevideo After 150mm of Rain in 1 Hour – FloodList
2 ‘Unprecedented’ flooding event wreaks havoc in Uruguay’s capital – AccuWeather
Featured image credit: Noticias latinas
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