Tropical Storm Chantal has moved away from the Virgin Islands with little to no impact on the territory. The storm center was more than 320 miles west-southwest of the Virgin Islands at 5 a.m. Wednesday morning.
The U.S. Coast Guard has lifted all port restrictions imposed in response to the storm passing. Inbound traffic was permitted as of 7:15 a.m. Interisland ferry transportation remained uninterrupted.
The V.I. Port Authority announced Tuesday night that scheduled flights to the territory were unchanged and that Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas will berth at the Crown Bay Marina Wednesday as scheduled.
The weather system made its closest approach to the territory at about 11 p.m. Tuesday when the center passed approximately 135 miles to the southwest of St. Croix as a strong tropical storm with sustained winds of 65 miles per hour near the center, according to a statement from the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency released Wednesday morning. Tropical storm force winds extended out up to 90 miles.
There were no reports of heavy rains or winds associated with Chantal. By 2 a.m. Wednesday the tropical storm was 261 miles northwest of the territory.
Trailing moisture behind the tropical storm will increase the potential for cloudy skies and showers across the region today, according to VITEMA. High temperatures will reach the mid to upper 80s with easterly winds prevailing at 15-20 miles per hour. There is a 60-percent chance of rain in Wednesday’s forecast. An area of high pressure is expected to begin building across the region by nightfall, which will suppress shower activity across the local area.
A flash flood watch remains in effect until Wednesday night and a small craft advisory is also in effect for the coastal waters of the Virgin Islands.
VITEMA Director Elton Lewis stood down the St. Croix Emergency Operations Center shortly after the storm passed with minimal impact to the Virgin Islands.