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Press Releases & Statements

For Immediate Release

August 27, 2015

Storm Force Winds are Currently Being Felt Across Portions of St. Croix

At 8 p.m., the center of Tropical Storm Erika was located near latitude 16.7 North, longitude 64.7 West. Erika has slowed down a little and is now moving westward near 12 miles per hour. Erika should resume a west-northwest track with a slight increase in forward speed later tonight. This general motion is expected to continue for the next 48 hours. On the forecast track, the center of Erika will move near the US Virgin Islands this evening, move near or over Puerto Rico tonight, and move near or over the Dominican Republic on Friday.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 45 miles per hour with higher gusts. No significant change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles primarily to the southeast of the center.

IMPACT ON VIRGIN ISLANDS: Based on the current forecast, Erika will make the closest point of approach to the territory at 10 p.m. when the storm center is forecast to be some 46 miles to the southwest of St. Croix. At that time, Erika's top winds are expected about 45-50 miles per hour with gusts up to 60 miles.

Tropical storm force winds are currently being felt across portions of St. Croix. Those winds will continue to affect the islands and last through 5 a.m. Friday with the peak winds of 46 miles per hour occurring at about midnight. 

St. Thomas and St. John will begin to experience sustained tropical storm force winds at 10 p.m. continuing for about nine hours with the peak winds of 44 miles per hour being experienced at midnight. Tropical Storm Erika continues on track to cross US Virgin islands and Puerto Rico but with the most intense winds and rainfall within a few hours of St. Croix. 

Rainfall and flooding are still the major concerns. Rainfall estimates for the local islands stand at 4 to 8 inches with up to 12 inches possible. Significant rains from tropical storm Erika will continue over Puerto Rico during the day Friday and continue the threat of flooding.

The next complete advisory is at 11 p.m.

General Population Shelters

Shelters opened territorywide at 6 p.m. Wednesday, at the following locations: 

  • Herbert Grigg Home on St. Croix
  • Knud Hansen Complex on St. Thomas 
  • Julius Sprauve School and Guy Benjamin Elementary School on St. John.

Special Medical Needs Shelters are open for individuals with medical conditions needing shelter. Shelters are located at:

  • Charles Harwood Clinic on St. Croix.
  • Roy Lester Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas