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Breaking News / Featured / Hurricane Season / Virgin Islands / Weather / August 27, 2019

The U.S. Virgin Islands has been placed on a tropical storm warning as Tropical Storm Dorian approaches the southern Leeward Islands. According to the National Hurricane Center’s 5:00 p.m. advisory, the USVI and Puerto Rico are expected to experience tropical storm conditions on Wednesday, with hurricane conditions possible in Puerto Rico and portions of the Dominican Republic Thursday.

A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Puerto Rico
  • Vieques
  • Culebra
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Dominican Republic from Isla Saona to Samana

Discussion and Outlook

According to N.H.C. data from the Guadeloupe radar indicate that the center of Tropical Storm Dorian was located near latitude 15.3 North, longitude 62.5 West. Dorian is moving toward the west-northwest near 13 mph (20 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue through tonight, followed by a turn toward the northwest on Wednesday. On the forecast track, the center of Dorian will move across the northeastern Caribbean Sea tonight, pass over or near western and central Puerto Rico on Wednesday, and move near or just east of eastern Hispaniola Wednesday night. On Thursday night and Friday, the center of Dorian is forecast to move near or to the east of the Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts. Slow strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours, and Dorian is forecast to be near hurricane strength when it approaches Puerto Rico on Wednesday. Some weakening is expected after Dorian moves across the higher terrain of Puerto Rico Wednesday night. Dorian is expected to gradually re-strengthen on Thursday and Friday while passing near or to the east of the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1005 mb (29.68 inches).

Lieutenant Governor Tregenza Roach urging residents to be prepared

“As we approach September, the most active month of the hurricane season for the Virgin Islands, I encourage residents to stay vigilant and not delay preparations,” Mr. Roach said in his capacity of commissioner of insurance.

He also encouraged residents who have insurance to review their policy.

 “Whether you have a mortgage or own your home, homeowners should have insurance and understand what is covered by the policy. An annual review of the policy is important.  Be sure to contact your insurance agent directly to discuss any need for additional coverage,” he said.

In order to be prepared before a hurricane, the following actions should be taken by property owners, according to Mr. Roach:

  • Avoid being underinsured by purchasing at least 80% of the replacement cost value of your residential property.  Get your residential property appraised and make sure the appraisal includes Replacement Cost Value. Then, purchase your homeowner’s insurance at Replacement Cost Value, which is the cost of replacing your property without a reduction for depreciation. 
  • Remember that homeowner’s insurance cannot generally be purchased once a storm is named.  
  • Avoid being force-placed because forced-placement covers only the mortgage balance.  Have the insurance premium escrowed along with your mortgage and property tax payment or use premium financing.  
  • If renting, buy renter’s insurance to cover your contents in the building. 
  • Protect your property by putting up shutters, cutting back tree limbs and clearing debris.
  • Remember, you must buy a separate homeowners/windstorm policy and a separate flood insurance policy. A homeowner’s policy does not provide coverage for flooding that comes with a hurricane.  Do know that a flood insurance policy does not take effect until 30 days after it is purchased.
  • Understand that you do not have a separate policy if you own a condominium.  The policy belongs to the condominium association as a whole and is subject to a decision by its Board of Directors.  You can purchase a separate contents insurance policy as a condominium owner. 
  • Keep your insurance policy and other important documents (e.g., insurance policies, birth certificates, passport, will and testaments, licenses, etc.)  in safe, dry and secure waterproof and fireproof containers.
  • Visit and download the “Home Inventory Checklist”. Complete the checklist and take photos of your home’s contents before a storm occurs. Know what is insured and what is not insured. Read other hurricane preparedness materials on the website. 
  • Have an adequate amount of cash stored in a safe area in your home, in the event communication and transportation systems are damaged by a storm. 
  • Have disaster supplies on hand (e.g., water, dry food items, prescription drugs, bandages, flashlights, batteries).
  • Know what to do after a disaster strikes. Secure your property; take photos; make a list of your damages; file a claim as soon as possible; get an estimate of your damages; be ready to have your claim adjusted; receive a claim settlement. 
  • Public adjusters are also licensed by the Commissioner of Insurance. A public adjuster may not charge a fee that exceeds 5% of the insurance proceeds recovered on behalf of the homeowner or residential insured.

Ernice Gilbert
I wear many hats, I suppose, but the one which fits me best would be journalism, second to that would be radio personality, thirdly singer/songwriter and down the line. I've been the Editor-In-Chief at my videogames website, Gamesthirst, for over 5 years, writing over 7,000 articles and more than 2 million words. I'm also very passionate about where I live, the United States Virgin Islands, and I'm intent on making it a better place by being resourceful and keeping our leaders honest. VI Consortium was birthed out of said desire, hopefully my efforts bear fruit. Reach me at [email protected].

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Department of Public Works Distributing Sandbags on St. Croix

The Virgin Islands Department of Public Works is distributing sandbags in the St. Croix District from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00...

August 27, 2019