SANTO DOMINGO – Flooding caused by Hurricane Maria damaged or destroyed 8,856 dwellings in the Dominican Republic, forcing more than 26,000 people from their homes and leaving 26 communities cut off from the outside world, the national emergency management office said on Tuesday.
The torrential rains and flooding that affected a large swath of the country last week destroyed 188 houses and partially destroyed 861 other dwellings.
A total of 24,384 people were forced to move in with relatives and 1,819 others are in government storm shelters, the national emergency management office said, adding that 20 of 32 provinces were still under a state of alert.
The storm knocked out 27 waterworks, leaving 389,352 people without potable water, and damaged 14 bridges and five highways, emergency management officials said.
Hurricane Maria caused a house to collapse in the northern part of the country, killing one person, and another person died in the eastern Dominican Republic while trying to cross a stream that had overflowed its banks, local emergency management officials said.
The national emergency management office, however, is not counting these two deaths in its tally of storm-related fatalities because they were caused indirectly by the hurricane.
Hurricane Maria passed near the eastern Dominican Republic’s coast last Thursday, drenching the country.
A tropical wave over the weekend brought more rain to the Caribbean nation, causing rivers and streams to overflow their banks.
The national weather service said on Tuesday that it expected the rain to let up on Wednesday across the country, but the forecast calls for possible isolated downpours on the border with Haiti, in the central mountains and the northeast.