TROPICAL STORM FLOYD LIKELY TO GO NORTH OF V.I.

Tropical Storm Floyd was centered 450 miles east of the Leeward Islands as of 5 a.m. Thursday, some 700 miles southeast of St. Croix. The storm, with maximum sustained winds of about 60 mph, was projected at that time to pass about 300 miles northeast of the island around 2 a.m. Saturday.
While Floyd is expected to strengthen to hurricane force by Friday morning, it poses no threat to the Virgin Islands unless it changes course, National Weather Service forecasters said. However, they said, the Virgin Islands should expect increasing rough seas Friday night through Sunday.
The broad storm formation, with tropical storm-force winds extending outward up to 115 miles from its center, was moving west-northwest at about 15 mph early Thursday. Its inner core may be getting better organized, forecasters said, but it is predicted to gradually weaken with time. However, a low-level trough over the U.S. mainland East Coast could impact on its course. The coordinates of its center at 5 a.m. Thursday were 17.3 degrees north latitude and 54.6 degrees west longitude.
Gene Walker, executive director of the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency, said local residents should be "tightening the screws" in terms of finalizing routine hurricane season preparations for the passage of Floyd over the weekend. This, he said, should include making sure the household emergency kit contains a three-day supply of drinking water, food and medications and a radio with extra batteries.
As for VITEMA itself, "We are ready," Walker told Radio One News.
The telephone numbers to call the agency for further information are 773-2244 on St. Croix, 774-2244 on St. Thomas and 693-5050 on St. John (not 776-6444, the number given in telephone books).

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