Sept. 14, 2004 At 9 p.m. Tuesday night Gov. Charles W. Turnbull declared a state of emergency for the U.S. Virgin Islands as Tropical Storm Jeanne was making its approach toward the islands.
All of the territory's public schools will be closed on Wednesday and executive branch agencies will be closed on St. Croix, the governor announced via a conference call with broadcast media. Essential employees, however, are expected to report for work.
Turnbull said he had authorized the commissioner of Police to deputize peace officers in the interest of public safety, but had not called for a curfew for either district.
Executive branch agencies on St. Thomas and St. John will be open Wednesday unless conditions in the morning warrant shutting them down, too, Turnbull said, promising he would give a 6 a.m. update via radio.
"I have also contacted FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to request federal assistance, if necessary," Turnbull said.
Tropical Storm Jeanne could become a Category 1 hurricane within the next 24 hours as it passes the Virgin Islands and heads toward Puerto Rico's south shore.
At 9:45 p.m. St. Croix was experiencing some gusts but nothing out of the ordinary. San Juan weather radar showed the storm hovering east of the Virgin Islands. By 10:30 p.m. stronger wind gusts and almost constant lightening was being reported.
Heavy rainfall is expected to accompany the storm which could cause flooding in low-lying areas and mud slides.
Turnbull cautioned residents to "be ever vigilant" and to "take all necessary precautions."
For 5 p.m. update click here.
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