Sept. 16, 2004 After two days off work thanks to Tropical Storm Jeanne, now a hurricane, government workers will return to their jobs on Friday provided roads do not receive extensive damage or deterioration before the start of work, Gov. Charles W. Turnbull said.
However, public school students don't have to be back at their desks until Monday. Maintenance crews, custodians and administrators should report to work on Friday so they can get the schools ready for the students to return, he said.
Turnbull made these announcements via teleconference with the local media late Thursday afternoon.
Emergency crews have worked hard to clear the roads and clean up debris, he said.
The territory, particularly St. Thomas and St. John, can expect more heavy rain and flooding through Saturday evening, "so the state of emergency will continue," he said.
The territory remains on a flash flood warning.
Meanwhile, Tropical Depression 12 formed far out in the Atlantic Ocean Thursday afternoon, but forecasters don't think it will pose any problems for the Virgin Islands.
"But I'm not going to swear on a Bible," Todd Kimberlain, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in San Juan, said late Thursday afternoon.
Kimberlain was referring to the difficulty forecasters have in predicting the exact track and intensity of tropical weather systems.
However, Kimberlain said forecasters expect a trough to form in the Central Atlantic that will steer the storm northwest and then to the north. This will take it away from the Caribbean.
At the 5 p.m. update on Thursday, Tropical Depression 12 had winds of 35 mph with gusts to 45 mph.
The storm was centered at 11.4 degrees north latitude and 32.8 degrees west longitude. This puts it about 670 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands.
The barometric pressure stands at 1007 millibars or 29.73 inches.
The storm was moving toward the west at 16 mph.
Forecasters expect Tropical Depression 12 to develop into a tropical storm and then a hurricane. If it does, it will be called Karl.
Kimberlain warned there is a tropical wave located about 700 miles east of the Windward Islands. He said it was moving into an area that could be favorable for the wave to develop.
"And another one just came off the coast of Africa," he said.
Kimberlain said that the National Weather Service keeps a to-date total called the Net Tropical Cyclone Activity that combines the total number of storms with their overall intensity.
"As of yesterday, we were 180 percent of normal," he said.
He said only two other hurricane seasons equaled that. They were 1950 and 1995, which saw the disastrous Hurricane Marilyn hit the territory.
This hurricane season "will be one for the record books," Kimberlain said.
He also said that Hurricane Ivan lasted 10.75 days, which makes it longer than any other storm on record.
(See: "Cancellations, Postponements Due to Rain, Flooding" for an up-to-the minute listing of closings, cancellations, postponements and other weather related developments.)
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