Gov. Charles W. Turnbull called Radio One at 12:30 p.m. to report all schools and government offices would close at 1 p.m. Tuesday due to the rapid approach of Hurricane Lenny toward the Virgin Islands. The Red Cross announced that shelters will be open as of 6 p.m., and various government agencies and private entities announced shut-down and preparation plans.
Turnbull did not say at mid-day if there would be a curfew imposed or give any information on government preparations. Later, he announced a territorywide curfew would take effect at 9 p.m.
The St. Thomas-St. John Chapter of the American Red Cross announced that shelters will open at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The locations on St. Thomas are the Charlotte Amalie High School, Nisky Moravian Church Hall, Seventh Day Adventist School in Tutu and Bluewater Bible College in Bordeaux. The shelters will not have food service for the first 24 hours, a Red Cross release said, and those seeking shelter should bring with them identification papers, snacks and drinking water, pillows and bedrolls or blankets, flashlights with batteries, prescription glasses and/or hearing aids with batteries, and essential infant and child items such as disposable diapers, baby food and toys.
Government payroll checks were issued at noon Tuesday. The V.I. Bankers Association announced that all banks in the territory would close as of 2 p.m. The association executive committee "met Tuesday morning and, at the request of Gov. Turnbull, member banks elected to remain open until 2 p.m. Tuesday to allow employees of the government to cash their paychecks," association president Robert Haines said in a news release.
Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Dean Plaskett advised that all libraries in the territory would close at 3 p.m. in order to secure the facilities.
A release from the Human Services Department stated that food stamp recipients who have not collected their November allotments can do so until 3 p.m. Tuesday. Those wanting further information are advised to call 774-2399 on St. Thomas, 773-6050 in Christiansted or 772-0085 in Frederiksted.
Port Authority executive director Gordon Finch granted administrative leave to non-essential employees as of noon; essential employees were to work until 5 p.m. unless otherwise directed. Finch also asked operators of light aircraft stationed at the Cyril E. King and Henry E. Rohlsen Airports to secure their planes by tying them down, or to relocate them until weather conditions improve.
The University of the Virgin Islands closed down classes and business operations at 4 p.m. on both campuses. A UVI release said announcement would be made on Thursday of when the university will reopen; 693-1016 on St. Thomas and 692-4168 on St. Croix are the numbers to call for emergency information.
As of noon, Radio One was reporting predictions that Lenny's eye would be six miles southwest of St. Thomas by 10 a.m. Wednesday morning. Gale force winds are predicted to reach the island by 2 a.m. Wednesday.
For further information on Hurricane Lenny click on the rainbow icon at the top of the menu or click here.
Watch St. Thomas Source for updates on closings, openings and changes due to Hurricane Lenny.


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