Hurricane Local Statement in Virgin Island from the National Weather Service

Hurricane Local Statement in Virgin Islands

Active for next 5 hours ·
National Weather Service

This alert has been updated.

This product covers PUERTO RICO AND THE US VIRGIN ISLANDS **POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE IRMA NOW IMPACTING THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS**

CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS: – A Hurricane Warning is in effect for all Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. *

STORM INFORMATION: – About 280 miles east of San Juan PR or about 210 miles east-southeast of Saint Thomas VI – 17.7N 61.8W – Storm Intensity 185 mph – Movement West-northwest or 285 degrees at 15 mph

SITUATION OVERVIEW —————— Irma continues as a dangerous category 5 with winds of 185 mph and is expected to continue as a major hurricane as it approaches Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands Wednesday morning.

Irma is forecast to move northeast of the local islands, but through the local outer Atlantic waters Wednesday afternoon through early Thursday Morning.

Irma is expected cause dangerous winds, storm surge, rip currents and rainfall impacts across the local islands. Hurricane force wind gusts are possible across the Northern U.S. Virgin Islands, Culebra, Vieques and Northeast Puerto Rico with strong tropical force winds likely. The rest of the area is likely to experience tropical storm force winds. Wind gusts with hurricane force wind are likely at higher elevations.

Rainfall storm total accumulations across the north and northeast of Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands except St. Croix, 4 to 10 inches with isolated 15 inches. Across the Southwest part of Puerto Rico and St. Croix expect 2 to 4 inches.

POTENTIAL IMPACTS —————– * WIND: Protect against life-threatening wind having possible devastating impacts across the Northern U.S. Virgin Islands, Culebra, Vieques and Northeast Puerto Rico. Potential impacts in this area include: – Structural damage to sturdy buildings, some with complete roof and wall failures. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Damage greatly accentuated by large airborne projectiles. Locations may be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

– Numerous large trees snapped or uprooted along with fences and roadway signs blown over. – Many roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places. Many bridges, causeways, and access routes impassable.

– Widespread power and communications outages.

* FLOODING RAIN: Protect against life-threatening rainfall flooding having possible extensive impacts across much of the islands, especially the Northern U.S. Virgin Islands, Culebra, Vieques and Northeast Puerto Rico.

Potential impacts include: – Major rainfall flooding may prompt many evacuations and rescues.

– Rivers and tributaries may rapidly overflow their banks in multiple places. Small streams, creeks, canals, arroyos, and ditches may become dangerous rivers. In mountain areas, destructive runoff may run quickly down valleys while increasing susceptibility to rockslides and mudslides. Flood control systems and barriers may become stressed.

– Flood waters can enter many structures within multiple communities, some structures becoming uninhabitable or washed away. Many places where flood waters may cover escape routes. Streets and parking lots become rivers of moving water with underpasses submerged. Driving conditions become dangerous. Many road and bridge closures with some weakened or washed out.

* SURGE: Protect against life-threatening surge having possible devastating impacts across the Northern U.S. Virgin Islands, Culebra, Vieques and Northeast Puerto Rico. Potential impacts in this area include:

– Widespread deep inundation, with storm surge flooding greatly accentuated by powerful battering waves. Structural damage to buildings, with many washing away. Damage greatly compounded from considerable floating debris. Locations may be uninhabitable for an extended period.

– Near-shore escape routes and secondary roads washed out or severely flooded. Flood control systems and barriers may become stressed.

– Extreme beach erosion. New shoreline cuts possible.

– Massive damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers. Numerous small craft broken away from moorings with many lifted onshore and stranded.

* TORNADOES: Protect against a tornado event having possible limited impacts across PUERTO RICO AND THE US VIRGIN ISLANDS. Potential impacts include:

– The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans during tropical events.

– A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power and communications disruptions.

– Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow-rooted trees knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats pulled from moorings.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS ———————————- * EVACUATIONS: For those under evacuation orders, leave as soon as practical with a destination in mind. Gas up your vehicle well ahead of time. Be sure that you take all essential materials from your emergency supplies kit. Let others know where you are going and when you intend to arrive. If evacuating the area, stick to prescribed evacuation routes. Look for additional traffic information on roadway smart signs and listen to select radio channels for further travel instructions. Drivers should not use cell phones while operating vehicles. For those not under evacuation orders, understand that there are inherent risks to evacuation (such as traffic congestion, accidents, and driving in bad weather), so evacuate only if necessary. Help keep roadways open for those that are under evacuation orders. If you are exceptionally vulnerable to wind or water hazards from tropical systems, consider voluntary evacuation, especially if being officially recommended. Relocate to a predetermined shelter or safe destination. If evacuating away from the area or relocating to a nearby shelter, leave early before weather conditions become hazardous.

* OTHER PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION: If you are relocating to safe shelter, leave as early as possible. If heading to a community shelter, become familiar with the shelter rules before arrival, especially if you have special needs or own a pet. Take essential items with you from your Emergency Supplies Kit. Check the latest weather forecast before departing. Failure to adequately shelter may result in serious injury or loss of life. Always heed the advice of local officials and comply with any orders that are issued. Remember, during the storm 9 1 1 Emergency Services may not be able to immediately respond if conditions are unsafe. This should be a big factor in your decision making. Check-in with your emergency points of contact among family, friends, and workmates. Inform them of your status and well-being. Let them know how you intend to ride out the storm and when you plan to check-in again. Keep cell phones well charged and handy. Also, cell phone chargers for automobiles can be helpful after the storm. Locate your chargers and keep them with your cell phone. In emergencies it is best to remain calm. Stay informed and focused on the situation at hand. Exercise patience with those you encounter. Be a Good Samaritan and helpful to others. If relocating to a nearby shelter or to the home of a family member or friend, drive with extra caution, especially on secondary roads. Remember, many bridges and causeways will be closed once higher winds arrive. Also, if you encounter water covering the road, seek an alternate route. Always obey official road signs for closures and detours.

If you are a visitor and still in the area, listen for the name of the city or town in which you are staying within local news updates. Be sure you know the name of the county or parish in which it resides. Pay attention for instructions from local authorities. Closely monitor NOAA Weather radio or other local news outlets for official storm information. Be ready to adapt to possible changes to the forecast.

* ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION: – For information on appropriate preparations see ready.gov – For information on creating an emergency plan see getagameplan.org – For additional disaster preparedness information see redcross.org

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