(Photo: Department of Disaster Management)

Heavy downpours that could lead to flooding are possible in the territory through Saturday, the Department of Disaster Management warned this week.

The low-level trough system could bring “abundant moisture” that may develop into showers or thunderstorms.

Coincidentally, next week also marks the territory’s first Flood Protection Awareness Week.

The Ministry of Communications and Works is teaming up with DDM to educate residents on how to protect themselves and their property against floods.

Community outreach events, especially in communities vulnerable to floods, will take place from Monday through May 11, including visits to the BVI Seventh-day Adventist School, St. George’s Secondary School and Cedar International School.

Public meetings will also be held at the Market Square, the OneMart parking lot, and the Bobby’s parking lot.

Haley Trott, assistant secretary for the ministry, added that flood awareness week is also “part of the hydrology study which analyses the options for flood reduction in Road Town, while mapping the levels of risks, identifying cost effective drainage improvements and developing drainage policies and plans.”

DDM warned that the Virgin Islands is moving into one of the wettest months of the year, according to rainfall statistics.

Conditions are expected to gradually improve by Sunday, though more wet weather could return on Monday, the department said.

DDM advised those in flood-prone areas or residents who have not yet completed repairs on their homes to take necessary precautions.

The agency also outlined various tips for staying safe. Before a flood, residents should fix leaking roofs, construct barriers to stop floodwaters from entering a home or business, and pay attention to local weather information.

When a flood is imminent, residents should pack a bag with important items in case they need to evacuate and move immediately to higher ground if there is any possibility of a flash flood.

After a flood, DDM warned, residents should stay away from downed power lines and standing water, and they should clean and disinfect wet items.