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Meteorologist: 'It's a Wet Forecast'

Sept. 16, 2004 – Thunder, lightning and intermittent heavy rain through the night set the stage for bad road conditions throughout the territory.
"There's a 100 percent chance of rain. It's a wet forecast," said Hector Rivera, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in San Juan at 7 a.m. Thursday.
He said, although Tropical Storm Jeanne is now over the Dominican Republic, a huge area of showers that extends east beyond the British Virgin Islands will bring moderate to heavy rain throughout Thursday. He said the rain is moving south to north.
Rivera said he expects the rain to become a bit lighter later in the day, but there won't be any improvement in the weather until late Thursday night or early Friday.
Thunder and lightning will accompany that rain. Rivera said September is the month that sees the most lightning.
And he warned residents to watch out for flooding, particularly in low-lying areas. The entire territory remains on a flash flood warning. Rainfall totals of nine to 13 inches are possible across the Virgin Islands.
Reports early Thursday morning from government officials and others indicated widespread problems on territory's roadways due to flooding, debris and mud slides. James O'Bryan, St. Thomas administrator, urged residents to stay home. "It's bad out there."
On St. Thomas Wayne D. Callwood, commissioner of the Public Works Department, announced problems in the following areas: Brookman Road, the area around Mandela Circle and Havensight, the area adjacent to Addelita Cancryn Junior High School, Scott Free Road, Solberg Road, Boschulte Drive, Nadir Road by the bridge, areas of Harwood Highway, Crown Mountain Road in Dorothea by the garbage bins and Mafolie Road. Callwood said some retaining walls were down on roads in Anna's Retreat.
Independent reports indicated that Skyline Drive was clear, most of Hull Bay Road was passable, except for one area near the bus stop where debris had collected making the area dangerous for low-riding vehicles.
At 8:15 a.m. Edward Thomas, president of the West Indian Co. Ltd. announced that he had opened a passage in the parking lot between Havensight Mall and Wendy's in Mandela Circle to allow traffic to move both ways, bypassing the adjacent badly flooded roadway.
Julien Harley, St. John administrator, reported around the same time that a downed Water and Power Authority pole was blocking North Shore Road on St. John between Cinnamon Bay and Maho Bay. Harley said WAPA has been notified. Harley expressed concern that should the continuing rain cause mud slides on Centerline Road, access between Cruz Bay and Coral Bay would be completely cut off.
Little news has been reported from St. Croix as of 8:30 a.m.

Editor's note: Shaun A. Pennington also contributed to this report.

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