L’ESTERE, Haiti – Rivers rose to dangerous levels in Haiti’s rural center Thursday even as Tropical Storm Emily broke apart and became a wet low pressure system after dumping rains over Haiti and the southwestern corner of the Dominican Republic.
At least 50 homes were in danger of being flooded in the rice-farming village of L’Estere in Haiti’s Artibonite Valley, where a government worker tried to persuade people to leave their small cinderblock and wooden homes. Nearby, a dozen homes were already inundated with chocolate-brown water.
The government worker asking people to leave, Max Obed Desir, said most refused because they wanted to protect their belongings in the remote region, where heavy rain already had been falling for weeks and the arrival of Emily worsened the situation.
“The hardest part of my job is telling people and telling people and telling people they have to leave, and they don’t leave,” Desir said as he took photos of the endangered houses and tallied the numbers in a log book.