Dorian has been upgraded to a Category One Hurricane as it nears St. Thomas with top winds of 75 miles per hour.
St. Thomas’ Cyril E. King Airport has been closed for the day due to the storm.
Hurricane Dorian is tracking to the northwest at 13 miles per hour, and a Hurricane Warning remains posted for the Virgin Islands. There have been numerous reports of hurricane-force winds on St. Thomas over the past couple of hours. A weather station just south of St. Thomas recently reported sustained winds of 82 miles per hour, with a gust to 111 miles per hour
Conditions on St. Thomas’s northside began to deteriorate rapidly just after noontime. High winds and horizontal rain whipped at trees and bush flattening the front-yard purple Mexican petunias and turning roadways into rivers.
At 2:45 an alert announced sustained winds on St. Thomas of 82 mph with gusts to 111, suggesting that Dorian became a hurricane as it moved over the island.
Large tree branches had begun to accumulate in roadways blocking passage and the heavy gusting rains showed no signs of diminishing at of 3 p.m.
On the present track, Dorian should continue to move over the U.S. Virgin Islands Wednesday afternoon, and then over the open Atlantic waters later Wednesday night. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 20 miles to the north and east of the center, while tropical storm force winds extend up to 80 miles east of the center.
Dorian has the potential to produce 4-6 inches of rain across the Virgin Islands. Such volumes of rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods. Additionally, swells will increase across the Virgin Islands causing life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
St. Croix is already being impacted by tropical storm force winds which should last until late Wednesday afternoon. Tropical storm force winds will begin to affect St. Thomas & St. John within the hour and continue through Wednesday night.
Seaports are closed until further notice.
Vitran bus service is cancelled until further notice. A curfew is in effect until 6 a.m. Thursday