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Some Air And All Sea Traffic Into USVI Diverted Because Of Tropical Storm Grace

CHRISTIANSTED — Some air and all sea traffic into the territory is being diverted today due to the nearness of Tropical Storm Grace.

As of 8 a.m. update, intermediate advisory 8A, by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Tropical Storm Grace remains disorganized and its sustained winds have dropped to 40 miles per hour. Grace is located about 55 miles south-southeast of the St. Croix.

The center of Tropical Storm Grace is currently located at latitude 17.1 North, longitude 65.4 West.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…* British Virgin Islands* U.S. Virgin Islands* Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra.”

Grace is moving toward the west-northwest at 16 mph. A motion toward the west-northwest with a gradual decrease in forward speed is expected during the next several days. On the forecast track,

The center of Grace is expected to move over the Leeward Islands tonight, over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on today.

The movement of Grace to the southwest over night has resulted in a reduction for St. Croix to now a 12 percent chance of being impacted by tropical storm force winds and for St. Thomas there is no forecast of any tropical storm force winds.

Light rain has started to fall in St. Croix and St. Thomas and each district could get much heavier rain from the outer bands of Grace passing by.

The estimated minimum central pressure has increased to 1010 mb (29.83 inches).

A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and Grace is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rain.

The USCG has implemented port condition ZULU last evening a midnight, which closed all seaports. VITEMA and the Virgin Port Authority will maintain close coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard on any changes of port conditions.

“USVI seaports were reopened by the U.S Coast Guard at 11 a.m. Airports are also open. United Airlines and Silver Airways reported cancellations,” VIPA said on Facebook at 11:15 a.m. today. “Please call your airline directly for scheduling information.”

VIPA also reports that the Cyril E. King airport on St. Thomas and the Henry E. Rohlsen airport on St. Croix remain open.

United Airlines has has suspended all flights into the territory for today, Sunday, August 15, 2021.This includes service from Newark, NJ; Chicago-O’Hare; Washington-Dulles, and Houston.

All other major airlines are also monitoring the weather and currently are expected to operate on schedule.

There are no reports of impacts by TS Grace on any telecommunications or power utility services.

The VITEMA Emergency Operations Centers activated VIRTUALLY at 6 am today and agencies are providing updates on conditions in their areas.

VITEMA will continue to use Alert VI mass messaging to notify the public of addition updates as well as on Facebook and the VITEMA website at www.vitema.vi.gov

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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