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Rain, wind downs trees, light posts in Puerto Rico

July 18, 2013

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A tropical wave passing over Puerto Rico Thursday caused heavy flooding and damaged infrastructure across the U.S. territory.

Emergency management officials said heavy lightning and rain downed some trees, knocked over several light posts and damaged a balcony in the island’s eastern region. Dozens of cars were left stranded in floodwaters along some of the island’s main highways in the San Juan metropolitan area.

National Weather Service Director Roberto Garcia said a 1950 rainfall record at San Juan’s main international airport was broken on Thursday. More than 8 inches (20 centimeters) of rain have fallen there so far.

Twelve flights scheduled to land at the Luis Munoz Marin international airport were rerouted to a smaller airport in the northwest town of Aguadilla, said Ports Authority Director Victor Suarez.

Officials said operations at the main airport resumed Thursday afternoon.

Garcia said the tropical wave is expected to next hit Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Also known as an easterly wave, a tropical wave is a type of atmospheric trough that is a long area of low air pressure that moves east to west across the tropics, causing cloudiness and thunderstorms.

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