By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The heavy rains that fell on the state of Rio de Janeiro since Wednesday night have caused damages both in the city and in the rest of the state. Many neighborhoods remained inaccessible on Thursday night with flooded roads and landslides hindering motorists and making the ride to and from work a nightmare.
“I arrived late at work in the morning and it took me three times the normal amount of time to get home in the afternoon,” complained Michele Andrade. Andrade told The Rio Times that traffic was a standstill in the Botafogo neighborhood Wednesday night and she seriously thought about just parking her car and waiting it out.
“I was tempted to stop at the Botafogo Praia Shopping and watching a movie, and waiting for the traffic to improve,” she admitted.
The neighborhoods in Rio’s metropolitan region most affected by the rain since Wednesday included Campo Grande, Jacarepaguá, Penha, Centro, Braz de Pina, Vila Isabel and Botafogo.
The area, according to Inmet (Brazilian meteorological agency), registering the highest volume of rain in the past 24 hours, however, was Alto da Boa Vista.
In Rio state’s mountainous region, mayors from Nova Friburgo, Teresópolis and Petrópolis issued a state of alert for their cities as heavy rain overflowed small streams, closed roads and dragged cars.
Some cities like Macaé and Rio das Ostras, in the Lakes Region, declared state of emergency due to the heavy rains.
Along the coast, in the south of the state, the road connecting Paraty to the city of Cunha, in São Paulo, was still closed on Thursday night in both directions due to landslide.
Nearby, in the municipality of Angra dos Reis residents of thirteen locations have been alerted to leave their homes: Vila do Abraão and Praia do Bananal, in Ilha Grande; and Balneário, Serra d’Água, Zungu, Areal, Banqueta, Morros do Tatu, Peres, Glória, Glória II and Monte Castelo, on the mainland.
According to officials in less than 24 hours (from Wednesday night to Thursday afternoon) the state registered in some regions rainfall indexes equal to the entire month of November.
The Brazilian Navy issued an ocean swell warning with waves possibly reaching approximately 2.5 meters high along Rio’s beaches and the state’s seashore until the end of Friday night.