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Accidents, Venue Changes as a Result of Ongoing Showers

May 23, 2004 – The U.S. Virgin Islands remains under a flash flood watch until 6 p.m. Sunday with the forecast calling for increasing possibilities of scattered shower activity through the afternoon and night time hours. Also included in the flash flood watch are the islands of Vieques, Culebra and Puerto Rico. Cloudy skies and scattered showers – heavy at times – affected most of the region Sunday morning. St. Croix was the exception seeing only partly cloudy skies.
Doppler radar had estimated less than an inch of rain for St. Croix on Sunday. But at the Henry Rohlsen airport on St. Croix Saturday nearly an inch of rain was recorded.
The weather map is peppered with an elongated area of low pressure extending from Central America, east northeast across the Caribbean basin. "The system will continue to move slowly to the north through Tuesday," meteorologist Alan Archer said on Sunday. A tropical wave now located across the Eastern Caribbean will move west at about 10 miles per hour.
Archer said the two systems will combine to produce widespread showers and scattered thundershowers across the region Sunday afternoon and Sunday night.
The forecast calls for a slight decrease in rainfall activity on Monday but Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands "will remain wetter than normal through Wednesday," Archer said.
The marine interests should take into account the "small craft advisories that are in effect for the Atlantic and near shore waters north of the local area," he added.
The wind flow will gradually turn southeast and south through Sunday night.
V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Authority officials reported no major problems across St. Croix Saturday during the heavy downpours. But the Police Department did blame inclement weather for up to 16 traffic accidents that occurred Saturday as the result of wet roads and speeding drivers. Six traffic accidents were reported in a one-hour period beginning at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Police spokesman Sgt. Thomas Hannah said the heavy rains washed debris and rocks onto some roadways creating hazardous driving conditions. The rain also took its toll on the 40th commencement exercises set for Sunday afternoon at the St. Croix campus of the University of the Virgin Islands. UVI officials changed the venue of the commencement exercises from an outdoor location on the campus to the auditorium of the Educational Complex. The ceremony is set to begin at 5:30 p.m.

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