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Changes of Plans as a Result of Frances' Approach

Aug. 31, 2004 – (Updated noon) Following are announced cancellations, postponements, early dismissals and other actions of community interest taken in relation to the approach of Hurricane Frances.
This posting is being updated continually as information becomes available.
If your agency or organization has information to be included, please e-mail it to source@viaccess.net or fax it to 777-8136.
Of Territorywide Interest
Postal Service
All U.S. post offices on St. Thomas and St. John are closed Tuesday. St. Croix offices remain open.
Ferry Service
– Ferry service between St. Thomas and St. John has been suspended until further notice, according to Steve Parris of VITEMA.
Downspout Reminder
Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Dean Plaskett put out a release on Monday evening reminding residents that in advance of a hurricane or tropical storm, downspouts leading to cisterns should be disconnected or blocked.
This is to prevent the water in the cistern from becoming contaminated.
Roy L. Schneider Hospital
– Rodney Miller, RLSH chief executive officer, announced early Tuesday morning the hospital is "open for business. Miller said child care will be provided for employees who may need it because of school closings.
The Legislature will be closed on Tuesday on St. Thomas. The Committee of the Whole meeting that had been scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday on St. Thomas has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The Legislature is open on St. Croix.
Senate President David Jones announced that the next regular session of the full Senate will be held Sept. 14-16.
The Territorial Court on St. Thomas will be closed Tuesday. On St. Croix the Court will conduct business as usual. Maintenance and recovery personnel are expected to report to work by 8 a.m.
District Court on St. Thomas will be closed Tuesday.
– Community Motors locations all closed Tuesday.
– Frenchtown Texaco is open.
– All FirstBankVI locations on St. Thomas, St. John and Tortola are closed Tuesday. ATMs are fully functional.
– Innovative Telephone is open for business according to ICC spokesman Tom Dunn.
Dunn said if conditions worsen to the point where employees would be in danger the company will send them home.
– Banco Popular locations on St. Thomas and Tortola are closed. ATMs are functioning.
Air Travel
– Seaborne Airlines is continuing its flights until weather conditions deteriorate. They are closely monitoring the weather.
– Darlin Brin, V.I. Port Authority executive director, said as of 7:30 a.m. the airport was "functioning." An American Airlines jet on the runway will take off around 9 a.m., according to Brin, who said after the flight left he would reassess the situation. He also said all small commuter airline flights have been canceled for Tuesday.
– Caribbean Sun has canceled all flights in and out of the territory for Tuesday.
Travelers should call their airline to verify whether flights will continue as scheduled.
Semi-autonomous and Other Government Agencies
– Social Security office is closed on St. Thomas.
– V.I. Port Authority non-essential employees are to stay home. Essential employees are expected to report to work.
– V.I. Water and Power Authority non-essential employees on all three islands are directed to "stay at home," by Patricia Simmonds, WAPA spokeswoman. Line Department employees are directed to "stay in touch," Simmonds said. And first assessment team employees are to "report to work immediately."
– WTJX, Channel 12 non-essential employees are not expected to report for work Tuesday.
Safe Havens Open
Boaters seeking safe haven as Hurricane Frances approaches were given the go-ahead to begin moving their vessels to designated waters on Monday afternoon.
A release from the Planning and Natural Resources Department's Environmental Enforcement Division said officers will monitor the activity of boats moving into the havens. "Boaters are reminded to have proper chafing material and adequate lines and anchors," it said.
The territorial havens for St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island vessels are Benner Bay, Mandahl Pond and Flamingo Bay.
The territorial havens for St. Croix are Salt River and Christiansted Harbor.
Boaters seeking haven in St. John's Hurricane Hole must contact the National Park Service by calling 776-6201, the release stated.
"Boaters are asked not to stay on their vessels during a threatening storm," it said.
St. Thomas and Water Island
Sand Bags, Sand Material Available
The V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency and the Public Works Department are distributing sandbags to the public for use in securing homes against flooding.
They may be picked up at the downtown St. Thomas, Tutu and Water Island fire stations; at the Public Works headquarters in Sub Base; and from the Water Island Civic Association.
In addition, "sand material" is available at the Tutu, Dorothea and Bordeaux fire stations; at the Public Works headquarters in Sub Base; and at the National Guard Armory in Nazareth.
Cruise Ship Changes
The West Indian Co. announced on Thursday afternoon the following changes so far in cruise ships calling at St. Thomas:
None of the four ships scheduled to arrive on Tuesday morning will be in port. The Caribbean Princess and Carnival Triumph are staying at sea in the western Caribbean and the Carnival Legend is in Nassau. The Navigator of the Seas plans to visit Antigua on Tuesday and then call at St. Thomas instead on Wednesday, arriving at 7 a.m. and departing at 6 p.m.
The Zuiderdam, which is scheduled to call at St. Thomas on Wednesday, has not changed that plan.
The Golden Princess, which had been scheduled to visit St. Thomas on Monday was diverted elsewhere and is expected to call at St. Thomas on Saturday instead.
WICO operations will close at 6 p.m. Monday and resume at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, the release stated.
Organizations and Agencies
– The Tuesday morning meeting of the Rotary Club of St. Thomas Sunrise at Hard Rock Cafe has been canceled. The next meeting is set for 7:30 a.m. Sept. 7.
– A Family Resource Center meeting scheduled for Monday night has been canceled.

– All Virgin Islands public schools are closed Tuesday.
– All Saints Cathedral School is closed.
– Antilles School is closed.
– Tutu Church of God is closed.
– Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral School is closed.
– Faith Alive Christian Academy is closed Tuesday.
– Wesleyan Academy is closed Tuesday.
– New Testament Academy is closed Tuesday.
– The St. Thomas campus of the University of the Virgin Islands will be closed on Tuesday, and no videoconferenced classes will be held.
However, St. Thomas physical plant and security personnel and other "essential personnel are expected to report to work at the regularly scheduled times," a release stated. It is anticipated that offices will reopen and classes will resume as usual on Wednesday, according to a release. The campus telephone number to call for emergency updates is 693-1016.
– The Montessori School will not hold classes on Tuesday.
St. John
– All Virgin Islands public schools are closed Tuesday.
– St. John School on Gift Hill is closed.
– St. John Christian Academy is closed.
Sand Bags, Fill Material Available
The V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency and the Public Works Department are distributing sandbags and fill material to the public for use in securing homes against flooding.
They may be picked up at the Cruz Bay and Coral Bay fire stations and at the Public Works headquarters in Susannaberg.
Park Closed; Boaters Must Move
National Park Service offi
cials announced that the V.I. National Park was closing Monday afternoon until further notice. The announcement directed those persons with boats moored in park waters to vacate the moorings and move to designated safe havens.
St. Croix
Marine Park Public Input Meeting
The Planning and Natural Resources Department meeting scheduled for Monday at the St. Croix Curriculum Center in Kingshill to secure public input for Local Action Strategies to enhance marine resources withing the St. Croix East End Marine Park has been postponed. The meeting will be rescheduled for a date to be announced.
Police Town Meeting
A Town Meeting called by Police Commissioner Elton Lewis that had been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Educational Complex has been postponed with a new date to be announced.
"I am looking forward to the moment we can sit together and discuss issues related to police service and its effects on the community," Lewis said in a release.
He said additional information would be posted on the Police Department Web site.

– FirstBankVI locations on St. Croix are open for business.
– Banco Popular branches are open on St. Croix.

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