Effects of Hurricane Jeanne in Puerto Rico
|Tropical storm (SSHWS/NWS)|
|Winds||1-minute sustained: 70 mph (110 km/h)
|Pressure||991 mbar (hPa); 29.26 inHg|
|Fatalities||4 direct, 4 indirect|
|Damage||$169.5 million (2004 USD)|
|Areas affected||Puerto Rico|
|Part of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season|
The effects of Hurricane Jeanne in Puerto Rico included the most damage from a tropical cyclone since Hurricane Georges in 1998. Jeanne, the tenth tropical storm of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season, struck the United States territory of Puerto Rico on September 15, with 70 mph (110 km/h). While crossing the island, the storm dropped heavy rainfall, peaking at 19.2 in (490 mm) at Aibonito, with a total of 23.75 in (603 mm) on the offshore island of Vieques. The rainfall caused widespread flooding, resulting in landslides and heavy crop damage. Winds reached 72 mph (117 km/h) at Cayey, and its combination with the rainfall left most of the island without power or water.
Before Jeanne struck, the Puerto Rican governor ordered shutting down the island's entire power supply to prevent electrocution deaths. In the days after the storm, the power and water were restored. With damage totaling $169.5 million (2004 USD), President George W. Bush declared Puerto Rico as a disaster area, which allocated federal funds for assistance. Ultimately, more than 155,933 people received $401.1 million in aid. Overall, Jeanne caused eight deaths on the island, four of which directly, and the name was eventually retired from the naming list.
Hurricane Jeanne originated as a tropical depression on September 13 from a tropical wave, just east of the Lesser Antilles. At that time, the United States government issued a tropical storm warning for the entirety of Puerto Rico, about 43 hours prior to Jeanne making landfall on the island. As it moved through the northeastern Caribbean Sea the storm steadily intensified, and by late on September 14 Jeanne was forecast to move across the island as a minimal hurricane. As a result, the tropical storm warning was upgraded to a hurricane warning. Ultimately, Jeanne made landfall at 1600 UTC on September 15 as a 70 mph (110 km/h) tropical storm, about 17 mi (29 km) east of Guayama.
Prior to hitting, 3,629 people evacuated to 159 schools converted into emergency shelters. Governor Sila María Calderón forbade the sale of alcohol during the storm. All ports around the island were closed, and most flights were canceled. Due to the threat for downed wires, the governor ordered for the entire island's power grid to be turned off during the storm. During Hurricane Hugo in 1989, six people were electrocuted to death, which influenced the decision. In addition, ferry trips from the main island to Vieques and Culebra stopped during the storm.
In Vega Baja, an elderly man fell from a roof to his death while installing storm shutters. As Jeanne moved ashore, an eye was in the process of developing, indicating winds near hurricane status, although hurricane force winds still affected higher elevations. Jeanne quickly crossed Puerto Rico and eventually attained hurricane status in the Mona Passage between the island and Dominican Republic.
Upon striking Puerto Rico, Jeanne produced tropical storm force winds in portions of the island. A NWS employee reported sustained winds of 63 mph (101 km/h), with gusts to 71 mph (114 km/h) in Salinas along the southern coast. In Cayey, located in the center of the island, a 72 mph (117 km/h) gust was reported, just shy of hurricane force. Additionally, the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan reported sustained winds of 49 mph (80 km/h). In Yabucoa, the winds killed one woman after she was flung into a wall.
Most of Jeanne's impact came from its rainfall. The heaviest precipitation fell on the island Vieques with a total of 23.75 in (603 mm) in three days. There, a 24‑hour total of 14.75 in (375 mm) was reported, a 1 in 100 year event. On the Puerto Rican mainland, the rainfall averaged from 5–15 in (127–381 mm), peaking at 19.2 in (490 mm) at Aibonito in the center of the island. At that station, the rainfall reached 15 in (380 mm) in a 24‑hour period, surpassing a 1 in 100 year event. Heavy rainfall also fell on the offshore island of Culebra. The heavy rainfall caused severe flooding along many rivers of Puerto Rico, forcing 3,629 people to evacuate their houses in flood zones. The one and only flood-related death occurred when a person drowned in the Culebrinas River in Moca. Across the island, Jeanne produced mudslides and landslides and left $8 million in damage (2004 USD) to the water system; about 600,000 people were left without running water.
Throughout Puerto Rico, Tropical Storm Jeanne heavily damaged schools, houses, businesses. Strong wind gusts left 70% of the island without power, and damage to the electrical grid totaled $60 million (2004 USD). The combination of fallen trees, landslides, and debris closed 302 roads and left many bridges damaged. The storm left heavy crop damage in the southern and eastern portion of the island, particularly to coffee, plantain, banana, and wheat crops. In Jayuya, the storm destroyed 30% of the coffee crop. Of the $101.5 million crop damage total, more than half was from the banana crop. Overall, more than 15,500 acres (63 km2; 24.2 sq mi) of croplands were affected.
Following the passage of the storm, two people died due to carbon monoxide poisoning after running a generator in closed space without proper ventilation. Two others died and another injured when a tree damaged by winds fell onto their car near Yauco. Due to contaminated water supplies, authorities advised people to boil water before consumption. In the day after the storm's passage, electric companies restored power to all but 870,000 people. Most of the western portion of the island was repaired first, as were hospitals and the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport.
On September 17, two days after Jeanne struck, United States President George W. Bush declared Puerto Rico a disaster area, which provided for the cost of debris removal and emergency services. In the immediate aftermath, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funded crisis counseling services for storm victims, set up by the Puerto Rico Department of Health/ Mental Health and Anti-Addiction Services Administration. After the storm's passage, FEMA established six disaster recovery centers. Ultimately, more than 206,000 people applied for disaster assistance, including grants for essential repairs and temporary housing. FEMA approved the request for 155,933 people, providing $401.1 million in aid. In March 2005, the US Government provided $14.6 million in aid for reconstruction projects, including repairs to the power grid, as well as general road and bridge restoration.
Due to its damage along its path, Hurricane Jeanne was retired by the World Meteorological Organization in Spring 2005, meaning the name will never be used again for an Atlantic hurricane. The name was replaced by Julia which was used during the 2010 season.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hurricane Jeanne (2004).|
- Miles B. Lawrence and Hugh D. Cobb (2005-01-07). "Hurricane Jeanne Tropical Cyclone Report" (PDF). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
- Stacy Stewart (2010-09-14). "Tropical Storm Jeanne Discussion Five". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
- Various News Agencies (2004). "Most Of Island Remains In The Dark". Puerto Rico Herald. Archived from the original on 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- Manuel Ernesto Rivera (2004-09-16). "Jeanne Unleashes Flooding". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
- Staff Writer (2004-09-16). "Tropical Storm Jeanne Batters Puerto Rico, Kills Two". Toledo Blade. Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- Staff Writer (2004-09-16). "Jeanne Kills 2 in Puerto Rico". Kentucky New Era. Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
- Jack Beven (2010-09-15). "Tropical Storm Jeanne Discussion Nine". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
- Jack Beven (2010-09-14). "Tropical Storm Jeanne Discussion Eight". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
- San Juan, Puerto Rico National Weather Service (2009-01-21). "Tropical Storm Jeanne moves across the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
- National Climatic Data Center (2004). "Event Report for Puerto Rico". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original on December 22, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
- David X. Roth (2006-12-30). "Rainfall Summary for Hurricane Jeanne". Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
- National Climatic Data Center (October 2004). "State of the Climate: Global Hazards for September 2004". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
- "Tropical Storm Jeanne Spins Through Caribbean". Gettysburg Times. Associated Press. 2004-09-18. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- National Climatic Data Center (2010). "Hurricane Events in Puerto Rico". Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- National Climatic Data Center (2010). "Hurricane Events in Puerto Rico". Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (2004). "Puerto Rico Tropical Storm Jeanne and Resulting Landslides and Mudslides". Archived from the original on 2010-04-09. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- Staff Writer (2004-09-18). "Designated Federal Aid Mainly for Emergency Response in Puerto Rico". Federal Emergency Management Agency. Archived from the original on 2010-06-06. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- Staff Writer (2004-10-29). "Aid To Help Tropical Storm Jeanne Victims Cope With Disaster-Related Stress". Federal Emergency Management Agency. Archived from the original on 2010-06-06. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- Staff Writer (2004-10-11). "Weekly Summary". Federal Emergency Management Agency. Archived from the original on 2010-06-06. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- Staff Writer (2005-02-03). "Weekly Summary". Federal Emergency Management Agency. Archived from the original on 2010-06-06. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- Staff Writer (2005-03-16). "FEMA Approves More Than $14.6 Million For PREPA Projects". Federal Emergency Management Agency. Archived from the original on 2010-06-06. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- "Retired Hurricane Names Since 1954". National Hurricane Center. 2009. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- "Worldwide Tropical Cyclone Names". National Hurricane Center. 2010. Archived from the original on September 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-28.