St. John Schools, Offices Closed, Flash Flood Watch Wednesday

Tropical Storm Karen did relatively little damage Tuesday but there are isolated power outages, St. John ferries won’t start until noon and more rain is on the way, administration officials said at a 6:30 a.m. press conference Wednesday.

Gov. Albert Bryan reiterated his decision from last night that government operations would start as normal on St. Thomas and St. Croix.

“We anticipate there is going to be traffic coming into Charlotte Amalie this morning, so we are asking you to drive cautiously,” Bryan said, adding that he is asking employers to be “lenient” with employees who might be late due to traffic. He said ports on St. John should open by noon, but schools and government offices will remain closed Wednesday.

Sargassum and acacia stems mingle on a pebble beach on St. John as Tropical Storm Karen kicks up the surf. (Judi Shimel photo)

The territory is no longer under a tropical storm warning, however we are under a flash flood watch, Bryan said. One strong band of rain, then some smaller bands should hit St. Croix first, in the morning, then pass later to St. Thomas and St. John, dropping one to two inches of rain, he said.

Public Works Director Nelson Petty said roads on St. Croix and St. John are pretty clear. On St. Thomas, one section of the road running from Lucinda Millin Home on the west, to the Legislature on the east, has some flooding and debris and parts are barricaded. They hope to clear it up by 9 a.m., Petty said.