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Jeanne Brings 'Bad Weather' to Entire Territory Today

Sept. 15, 2004 – With the center of Tropical Storm Jeanne passing just southwest of St. Croix at the National Weather Service's 5 a.m. update, Wednesday promises to bring bad weather to the entire territory. St. Croix was without power and it is not expected to be restored until later in the day, if then.
"The storm continues to become better organized," said Brian Seeley, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in San Juan early Wednesday morning.
At the 5 a.m. update, Tropical Storm Jeanne had winds of 65 mph with gusts to 75 mph.
The storm was centered at 17.5 degrees north latitude and 65.1 degrees west longitude. Tropical storm force winds extend outward 40 miles from the center. The barometric pressure stands at 994 millibars or 29.34 inches. The storm was moving toward the west-northwest at 8 mph.
On St. Croix torrential rains and steady strong winds were reported as of 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.
At 8 a.m. Glenn Rothgeb, Water and Power Authority spokesman, said the power outages were the result of line damage. He said, "The power plant is fine." Rothgeb said the authority will be sending crews from St. Thomas to help with the repairs as soon as weather conditions would allow for travel.
Rothgeb said, "If it's anything like past experiences we should be restoring power to major areas during the course of the day.
Rawle Watson, who works the front desk at the Buccaneer Hotel, said he had heard about the power outage, but the hotel was operating on a generator.
He too reported rain and wind.
Seeley said that tropical storm force winds in St. Croix should gradually diminish by about 10 a.m., but island residents should continue to see heavy wind gusts that could reach tropical storm force strength throughout the day.
St. Thomas and St. John will also see windy weather.
All islands will receive heavy rainfall.
"St. Thomas and St. John are in the middle of pretty heavy showers," Seeley said as he checked his radar map at around 6 a.m.
He said that Henry Rohlsen Airport in St. Croix reported a wind gust of 62 mph at 3:59 a.m. Wednesday. Seeley said that a Maria Hill, St. Croix, resident reported a gust of 88 mph.
Seeley said St. Croix's airport received 2.85 inches of rain between midnight and 6 a.m., but he said that reports from around the island put the figure at 3.25 inches to four inches.
At Cyril E. King Airport in St. Thomas, winds gusted to 35 mph.
"And the rain was upward of one-and-a-half inches so far," he said.
Weather Station Zephyr in Coral Bay, St. John saw wind gusts of 40 mph at 6 a.m. At 6 a.m., the rainfall total since midnight reached .79 inches.
Seeley said rainfalls across the territory should total anywhere from eight to 12 inches.
Forecasters expect Tropical Storm Jeanne to become a hurricane on Wednesday as it reaches Puerto Rico.
St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John remain on a hurricane warning. The British Virgin Islands is on a hurricane watch.
Seeley said coastal flood warnings are in effect for St. Croix. St. Thomas and St. John are on coastal flood watches.
All the islands remain on high surf advisories and flash flood warnings.

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