A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Leeward Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. In preparation for the arrival of Tropical Cyclone 9, Christiansted National Historical Monument (CHRI), Buck Island Reef National Monument (BUIS), and Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve (SARI) are securing all park buildings and facilities on July 29 prior to the storm’s arrival.
Following the actions of the U.S. Coast Guard regarding current conditions, once port condition ZULU has been established, Buck Island Reef facilities, including the pier, Underwater Trail moorings, beach picnic areas, restrooms, hiking trail, will be temporarily closed. These facilities will be reopened once the storm has passed and National Park Service (NPS) staff have determined conditions are safe for boaters to return to the park to resume anchoring and mooring.
The total potential rainfall could reach 3 to 6 inches with maximum amounts of 10 inches across the northern Leeward Islands, British and U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, with a risk for flash floods and mudslides. Tropical-storm-force winds may reach up to 65 miles per hour. There is a high risk for strong rip currents from Tuesday evening through late Thursday (July 30) night; a coastal flood watch in effect through Thursday afternoon. Seas could reach 10 to 13 feet in exposed areas. Because of these risks to life and safety, the NPS strongly discourages people from visiting Buck Island National Monument during and immediately after the storm.
On July 31, park staff will conduct assessments at all three parks to look for any damages to park facilities as well as natural and cultural resources, and it will announce any further closures.
For questions, contact Supervisory Park Ranger Gabriel Laurencin at 773-1460, ext. 234 or ext. 247 or Park Superintendent Gregory Camacho at 773-1460, ext. 222.