Sept. 15, 2004 The worst of Tropical Storm Jeanne is over, said Ed Tirado, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in San Juan.
"But it's going to be squally tonight," he said at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Gov. Charles Turnbull lifted the state of emergency he imposed on the territory on Tuesday. In an announcement to the local media, the governor said that schools and government offices across the territory would reopen on Thursday.
Tirado expects a large patch of moisture located to the south to bring more wind and rain to the territory throughout Wednesday evening. He said that flooding could still be a problem.
Don't look for better weather on Thursday. Tirado said it would still be rainy as Tropical Storm Jeanne leaves the area.
As of 5 p.m., Tropical Storm Jeanne was dumping wind and rain on Puerto Rico, leaving only occasional bands to blow through the St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John.
Forecasters expect the storm to intensify to hurricane strength later Wednesday night. The storm has winds of 70 mph with gusts to 85 mph. It was centered at 18.4 degrees north latitude and 66.5 degrees west longitude. This puts it about 25 miles west of San Juan.
Tropical storm force winds extend outward 70 miles from the center.
The barometric pressure stands at 991 millibars or 29.25 inches. The storm was moving toward the west-northwest at 9 mph.
The territory's hurricane warning was downgraded to a tropical storm warning at the 5 p.m. update. The British Virgin Islands remain on both a tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch.
Harold Baker, state director of the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency, said that preliminary reports indicate sporadic power outages across St. Thomas and St. John. St. Croix also suffered power outages.
Baker said roads were clear, but flooding at Mandela Circle in St. Thomas continued to be a problem.
At 5:30 p.m. Cassandra Dunn, Water and Power Authority spokeswoman, said all feeders were up on St. Thomas. "We've had a few sporadic outages on both St. Thomas and St. Croix," but added that St. Croix had experienced the bulk of the power problems.
St. Croix feeders numbers one, two, three, four and eight were completely restored, Dunn said. "We have more work to do on six, nine and 10."
She said the work on the remaining feeders would be finished by midnight.
"Crews have been out since last night," she said. "We know it's not easy for our customers."
The governor in his announcement said the territory was spared substantial damage. "But continue to be careful," he added.
Although Tropical Storm Jeanne is about to be history for the Virgin Islands, Tirado warned that a tropical wave located about 325 miles south-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands shows signs of organization.
Conditions are favorable for development, so this wave could become Tropical Depression 12 within the next day or so. If it gains named storm status, it will be Karl. However, Tirado said the current forecast has it to pull to the north and away from the Virgin Islands. He warned that it's too early to know conclusively what track it will take.
"Keep an eye on it," he advised.
Hurricane season runs until Nov. 30.
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