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News / Weather / September 18, 2019

Tropical Storm Jerry has formed in the Atlantic Ocean, the National Hurricane Center made known in its 5:00 a.m. advisory. The storm is expected to strengthen into a hurricane as it gets near the northern Leeward Islands — which includes the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

N.H.C. said, “Although it is too soon to determine if there will be any direct impacts in the islands, interests there should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and monitor the progress of this system.”

Jerry is the tenth named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.

It is moving toward the west-northwest near 13 mph. A west-northwestward motion at a slightly faster forward speed is expected over the next few days, according to N.H.C. The storm will be near the northern Leeward Islands Thursday night or Friday on the current track.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 45 mph with higher gusts. Further strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days, and Jerry is expected to become a hurricane by the time it moves near the northern Leeward Islands.

The Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency said it has been monitoring the system. “VITEMA has not ceased its preparation and coordination operations since Hurricane Dorian and we stand ready to respond to any disturbance that may pass in the territory’s vicinity,” said VITEMA Director, Daryl Jaschen. “For the entirety of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season, VITEMA will continue to make the necessary preparations to ensure that we are able to keep up with the uncertainty that these storm systems often bring.”

VITEMA encouraged residents to take the following steps: 

  • Collect a ten (10) day minimum supply of nonperishable food and water for consumption and hygiene purposes, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies
  • Consider the special needs of elderly members and pets
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
  • Protect your property. Trim trees and secure objects that can become projectiles. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves in plumbing to prevent backups. Consider hurricane shutters. Review insurance policies.
  • Ensure your generator works when you need it most, be sure to perform regular maintenance and services. Never operate your generator indoors. Always store gasoline outside of the home at a safe distance away from the generator in a well-ventilated area.

“Taking a proactive position prior to a storm will help alleviate some of the burdens caused from the impact,” Mr. Jaschen said. “Be prepared for power outages, water shortages, and obstructed roadway conditions even if the territory is spared from impact.”

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