Nov. 12, 2003 The hillsides are green and the cisterns are full, but Virgin Islands residents began to grow wet-weather-weary Wednesday as they put up with yet another day of pounding downpours.
The weather might dry up a bit late Thursday into early Friday, said Brian Seeley, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in San Juan. But a cold front moving into the area will probably bring more rain.
"It's like a continuous train of showers," he said.
Seeley said the ground was saturated from all the wet weather.
The rains have brought mud and rocks slides, flash floods, submerged roadways and frazzled nerves across the territory.
Harold Baker, who heads the Territorial Emergency Management Agency, said there were floods at Mandela Circle and near the Medical Arts Building on Harwood Highway in St. Thomas, but crews eventually cleared drains to alleviate the flooding.
In St. Croix, the major roads were clear, but Baker said there were problems on secondary roads. Residents reported houses flooded in Mon Bijou and Grove Place.
He said that in St. John, flooding occurred near Cinnamon Bay Campground on the North Shore Road, and crews were working to clear the area.
St. John resident Kathy Demar said that Centerline Road has numerous puddles that made driving difficult.
"And the roads are covered with trees and stones," she said.
Demar, who manages vacation villas, said the rain caused a ceiling in one of the homes to fall down. A driveway in another nearly washed away when a fallen tree caused the water to back up.
In yet another house, water was coming in through the walls.
While she said she's had no complaints from her guests about the unpleasant beach conditions, Claudia Carrington of Carrington's Inn in St. Croix said she was sorry that her guests have to experience such unpleasant weather.
"It's the length of time I'm having a problem with," she said, referring to the days and days of blustery weather that swept in over the weekend.
Irma Fieulleteau at Sandcastle on the Beach in St. Croix said that the hotel's guests went shopping to while away the hours they normally would have spent at the beach.
Heavy rains are not the only problem to plague the territory. St. John and St. Thomas suffered a two-hour electrical outage that began at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.
"An underground cable at the Randolph E. Harley power plant failed," said Water and Power Authority spokeswoman Patricia Blake Simmonds.
She said that Wednesday afternoon, while nearly all the power was back on by 9:30 a.m., there were still a few pockets in the dark.
The outage came on the heels of one Tuesday that blacked out the East End of St. Thomas and all but Cruz Bay in St. John, which was getting by on generators.
The failure was blamed on a flooded manhole near the Lucinda Millin Home in St. Thomas, causing a short circuit that tripped the system. The outage lasted nearly nine hours.
The storms led to numerous shutdowns, including all public schools and many private schools, the University of the Virgin Islands and several meetings and activities scheduled for Wednesday.
Baker said that both the territory's airports and Seaborne Airlines were operating normally, although there were reports earlier in the day that at least one Seaborne flight out of St. Croix had been turned back from St. Thomas.
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