Home News Local news LENNY NOW CATEGORY 2, ON PATH TO PUERTO RICO

LENNY NOW CATEGORY 2, ON PATH TO PUERTO RICO

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Predictions for Hurricane Lenny from the National Weather Center as of 5 a.m. Tuesday place the path of the storm running across Puerto Rico roughly from Ponce on the south coast to San Juan on the north, then passing just to the north of the Virgin Islands. A minor variation in this forecast track would bring hurricane-force winds directly through the northern Virgin Islands.
The hurricane, which had been downgraded from a Category 2 to a Category 1 storm Monday night, was upgraded to a Category 2 again overnight as sustained winds regained strength to more than 100 mph.
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull in his first radio call-in addresses to the public shortly after 8 a.m. said the full strength of the hurricane is expected to reach the territory around 2 p.m. Wednesday. If the storm continues on its current course, he said, its center will pass about 60 miles west-northwest of St. Thomas and about 90 miles northwest of St. Croix.
The governor said Tuesday is a regular government workday and employees "are to secure their work stations at the end of the day."
He said he has requested President Clinton to declare a federal state of emergency in the territory, a routine procedure when natural disasters threaten a state or territory that facilitates the mobilization of the Federal Emergency Management Agency response in the event of extensive damage.
Locally, all government department and agency heads "are to do their assigned tasks," he said, and "they know what they are."
Maximum sustained winds are estimated to be near 100 mph with higher gusts. Some increase in strength is likely during the next 12 to 24 hours. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 50 miles from the center, and tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 145 miles.
Rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches are likely along the path of the hurricane. The present predictions will have tropical-storm winds and hurricane-force gusts battering the Virgin Islands for about 10 hours starting early Wednesday morning.
A hurricane warning is in effect for Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.
At 5 a.m. local time, the center of Hurricane Lenny was located near latitude 15.2 north, longitude 71.5 west or about 255 miles south-southwest of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. St. John is located at lattitude 18.20 north and 64.45 west. Lenny is moving toward the east at about 15 mph.

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