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Thursday, May 19, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesTropical Storm Warning, Curfew Lifted as Maria Fizzles

Tropical Storm Warning, Curfew Lifted as Maria Fizzles

The National Hurricane Center took down tropical storm warnings for all the islands that had them posted, including the Virgin Islands, at the 11 a.m. update on Saturday. Tropical Storm Maria is falling apart and, as forecasters currently think, will pass through the Virgin Islands as a depression.

Even as a depression, it will still bring rain and gusty winds. Jose Alamo, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in San Juan, said the heaviest rains are to the north and east of the storm. This means the heavier rains won’t fall on the Virgin Islands, but the territory will still get two to four inches of rain with six inches falling at higher elevations.

“Winds will be 25 mph with higher gusts for the northern Virgin Islands,” Alamo said.

He said at 11 a.m. that St. Croix should get sustained winds of 20 mph with higher gusts. According to Alamo, around 11 a.m., St. Croix reported gusts of 15 mph and 23 mph.

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“St. Croix isn’t going to get very much,” he said.

At around the same time, some rain fell in Coral Bay, St. John.

“You’re getting the outer bands,” he said.

Conditions should worsen around midnight on St. Thomas and St. John, with the heaviest rains falling Sunday morning, Alamo said.

A flash flood watch is in effect for the Virgin Islands through Monday morning as the possibility of heavy rainfall still exists. Regardless of Tropical Storm Maria’s intensity, models continue to indicate plenty of moisture moving over the area during the weekend and early next week.

The National Weather Service is projecting the possibility of rainfall amounts between 2 to 4 inches with amounts of 6 to 8 inches in isolated areas. This rainfall will result in rapid rises of local guts and could eventually lead to significant flash flooding. Mudslides and debris flows are expected in areas of steep terrain.

The storm posed challenges for forecasters as well as government planners.

“But it speaks to the uncertainty of tropical weather systems, and we erred on the side of caution,” Government House spokesman Jean Greaux said.

The government lifted the planned 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday curfew and removed the price freeze. Greaux said that the state of emergency declared by Gov. John deJongh on Friday remains in place in case the storm intensifies or changes track yet again.

The last ferry run for Saturday between Cruz Bay, St. John and Red Hook, St. Thomas was at 5 p.m. The last run from Red Hook to Cruz Bay was at 5:30 p.m., the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency said mid-afternoon Saturday. VITEMA also announced that ports across the territory are now open.

As of the 11 a.m. update, the wind is blowing at 40 mph with higher gusts. Tropical storm force winds extend outward 200 miles mainly to the northeast of the center.

It’s moving northwest at 24 mph. Maria is centered at 13.3 degrees north latitude and 61.5 degrees west longitude, putting it 310 miles east of San Juan. The barometric pressure stands at 1007 millibars.

Greaux said at 11:30 a.m. that shelters opened by the Human Services Department and the American Red Cross were starting to close down.

The shelters are the Sugar Estate Head Start Center on St. Thomas, the St. Croix Educational Complex gym and Julius E. Sprauve School on St. John.

The fact that there is no shelter in Coral Bay irked St. John resident Alvis Christian.

“This is an emergency. You’ve got to open shelters. You’ve got to protect residents,” he said.

Christian called the Source to complain that there were no sandbags and sand at the Coral Bay Fire Station. In previous years, Coral Bay had a shelter and sand bag distribution.

He said he went Saturday morning to get sandbags for two of Coral Bay’s elderly residents but was told he had to go to the Public Works Department at the other end of the island in Susanaberg to get them.

On St. Croix, Buck Island Reef National Monument and the Christiansted National Historic Site indicated they would both be open Sunday.

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The National Hurricane Center took down tropical storm warnings for all the islands that had them posted, including the Virgin Islands, at the 11 a.m. update on Saturday. Tropical Storm Maria is falling apart and, as forecasters currently think, will pass through the Virgin Islands as a depression.

Even as a depression, it will still bring rain and gusty winds. Jose Alamo, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in San Juan, said the heaviest rains are to the north and east of the storm. This means the heavier rains won’t fall on the Virgin Islands, but the territory will still get two to four inches of rain with six inches falling at higher elevations.

“Winds will be 25 mph with higher gusts for the northern Virgin Islands,” Alamo said.

He said at 11 a.m. that St. Croix should get sustained winds of 20 mph with higher gusts. According to Alamo, around 11 a.m., St. Croix reported gusts of 15 mph and 23 mph.

“St. Croix isn’t going to get very much,” he said.

At around the same time, some rain fell in Coral Bay, St. John.

“You’re getting the outer bands,” he said.

Conditions should worsen around midnight on St. Thomas and St. John, with the heaviest rains falling Sunday morning, Alamo said.

A flash flood watch is in effect for the Virgin Islands through Monday morning as the possibility of heavy rainfall still exists. Regardless of Tropical Storm Maria’s intensity, models continue to indicate plenty of moisture moving over the area during the weekend and early next week.

The National Weather Service is projecting the possibility of rainfall amounts between 2 to 4 inches with amounts of 6 to 8 inches in isolated areas. This rainfall will result in rapid rises of local guts and could eventually lead to significant flash flooding. Mudslides and debris flows are expected in areas of steep terrain.

The storm posed challenges for forecasters as well as government planners.

“But it speaks to the uncertainty of tropical weather systems, and we erred on the side of caution,” Government House spokesman Jean Greaux said.

The government lifted the planned 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday curfew and removed the price freeze. Greaux said that the state of emergency declared by Gov. John deJongh on Friday remains in place in case the storm intensifies or changes track yet again.

The last ferry run for Saturday between Cruz Bay, St. John and Red Hook, St. Thomas was at 5 p.m. The last run from Red Hook to Cruz Bay was at 5:30 p.m., the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency said mid-afternoon Saturday. VITEMA also announced that ports across the territory are now open.

As of the 11 a.m. update, the wind is blowing at 40 mph with higher gusts. Tropical storm force winds extend outward 200 miles mainly to the northeast of the center.

It’s moving northwest at 24 mph. Maria is centered at 13.3 degrees north latitude and 61.5 degrees west longitude, putting it 310 miles east of San Juan. The barometric pressure stands at 1007 millibars.

Greaux said at 11:30 a.m. that shelters opened by the Human Services Department and the American Red Cross were starting to close down.

The shelters are the Sugar Estate Head Start Center on St. Thomas, the St. Croix Educational Complex gym and Julius E. Sprauve School on St. John.

The fact that there is no shelter in Coral Bay irked St. John resident Alvis Christian.

“This is an emergency. You’ve got to open shelters. You’ve got to protect residents,” he said.

Christian called the Source to complain that there were no sandbags and sand at the Coral Bay Fire Station. In previous years, Coral Bay had a shelter and sand bag distribution.

He said he went Saturday morning to get sandbags for two of Coral Bay’s elderly residents but was told he had to go to the Public Works Department at the other end of the island in Susanaberg to get them.

On St. Croix, Buck Island Reef National Monument and the Christiansted National Historic Site indicated they would both be open Sunday.