SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Puerto Ricans are used to wet tropical weather, but the past few weeks have unleashed a series of storms of almost biblical proportions, destroying hundreds of homes, sweeping away cars and leaving tens of thousands without power.
It has been the wettest July ever recorded in the U.S. island territory, with 14 inches (36 centimeters) so far drenching the capital. More rain fell on July 18 than had ever come down in a 24-hour period.
The rain rarely stopped that day, with 9 inches (23 centimeters) pelting the San Juan area. People fled homes and cars as water rushed through doors and then windows. Rising floodwaters stranded drivers on highways turned lagoons. Some commuters were forced to use kayaks and paddle boards.