As expected Hurricane Irene inflicted quite a bit of damage to the DR. Irene slowly moved past Puerto Plata as a category 2 hurricane lashing the area with sustained winds up to 95 mph. More than 100 families were evacuated from the Puerto Plata area and moved to improvised shelters. At least 14 houses were destroyed by the sea. A canal also overflowed in the LA Javilla area engulfing several houses and causing the evacuation of at least 15 families.

Landslides caused by the heavy rain were found on the Luperon Highway connecting Santiago and Puerto Plata causing traffic issues on this heavily used route.

Schools reopened

Both public and private schools were closed yesterday due to the hurricane. While for the most part they were reopened this morning, in some areas there are still hard rains and winds keeping schools in a few areas of the country closed.

Santo Domingo

Two of the rivers in Santo Domingo burst their banks causing flooding in several sectors this morning. Dozens of houses were swept away in the Las Flores and Jeringa neighborhoods. These two rivers, the Yubazo and Nizao are both located in the southwestern province of San Cristobal.

Hurricane damage overview

In total at least 11,157 people were evacuated or had to find other shelter due to the hurricane with 1,407 in official shelters. As of this morning 25 communities are still cut off due to flooding. Over 5 inches of rain was recorded in the La Romana and Puntoa Cana areas and heavy rains are expected to continue for at least the next 48 hours. 24 of the DR’s 32 provinces remain in red alert with the remaining 8 in yellow alert.

The provinces under red alert are La Romana, La Altagracia, San Pedro de Macorís, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Peravia, San José de Ocoa, Azua, El Seibo, Hato Mayor, Valverde, Barahona, San Juan, Independencia, Bahoruco, Montecristi, Espaillat, María Trinidad Sánchez, Samaná, Duarte, Monte Plata, Puerto Plata and Sánchez Ramírez.

A yellow alert is in place for La Vega, Santiago, Elías Piña, Dajabón, Pedernales, Hermanas Mirabal, Monseñor Nouel and Santiago Rodríguez.