A flash flood watch has been issued for U.S. Virgin Islands until 8 p.m. Saturday as heavy rain continues across the territory and Puerto Rico.
The National Weather Service issued the advisory Saturday afternoon.
An unstable atmosphere and copious moisture across the region is making conditions favorable for periods of heavy rains and flooding at least until later Saturday evening, NWS said. Due the recent heavy rains and saturated soils across Puerto Rico in previous days and the potential for heavy rains across all or portions of the USVI, the flash flood watch was updated and expanded.
"Many areas may receive too much rain too quickly to drain properly," the weather service said in its advisory. "This will create high water levels in small streams and guts, leading to flooding of urban area streets and possible mudslides or rockfall in areas of steep terrain.
The Virgin islands Territorial Emergency Management advised pedestrians and motorists to proceed with extreme caution in areas where flash floods might occur. Avoid areas prone to flooding, seek alternates routes, and never cross areas that are flooding or areas where water has pooled.
An early NWS statement warned that thunderstorms will continue to affect the U.S. Virgin Islands through at least 8 p.m. Saturday.
The statement said the thunderstorms are capable of producing torrential rainfall, along with frequent lightning and winds between 25 to 35 miles per hour. Frequent cloud to ground lightning is occurring with this storm.
The NWS noted that lightning can strike as far as 10 miles away from a thunderstorm, and cautioned residents to seek shelter inside a building or vehicle.