Frederiksted was taking a severe beating from the Hurricane Lenny Wednesday, with reports of extensive damage to infrastructure and the evacuation of residents whose homes were flooded.
The fish market pier was reported destroyed and the tip of the Ann Abramson Pier was broken, as swells of 15 to 20 feet battered the shore with water surging over the seawall as the Category 4 hurricane passed the island on a northeast track.
The eye wall of the rogue hurricane out of the west was expect to pass over the eastern end of St. Croix around 2 p.m. according to Ron Walker of the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency. Weather analysts said there was a chance the eye would stay over the water, sparing residents the worst of Lenny's fury.
Patricia Blake Simmonds of the Water And Power Authority announced about 12:15 p.m. that WAPA had taken all power down on St. Croix for the duration of the hurricane. She advised residents to switch all but one of their circuit breakers to the "off" position so as to minimize power surge damage when power is restored.
Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James told Lucky 13 at 12:25 p.m.that an additonal shelter would open in Frederiksted at 1 p.m. because of the large number of people who were being evacuating from their homes due to flooding since 6 a.m.
On its current track, the hurricane core is projected to pass just south of St Croix over the next several hours. St. Thomas, St John and adjacent islands will remain under tropical storm conditions through the afternoon while hurricane conditions will affect St Croix.
The National Weather Service San Juan office statement issued at 1 p.m. local time gave the coordinates for the center of Lenny as near 17.2 degrees north latitude and 64.8 degrees west longitude, about 45 miles south of St Croix and 90 miles south of St Thomas. The hurricane had turned to the northeast and was moving at nearly 12 mph. Maximum sustained winds were up to 140 mph with higher gusts, especially over south- and west-facing harbors. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60miles from the center, with tropical storm winds extending up to 175 miles.
Rainbands associated with Lenny will produce "periods of very heavy rain during the next few hours," the weather service reported, with 5 to 10 inches possible over the territory and mudslides and landslides "probable, especially over areas of steep terrain."
The report noted that "strong thunderstorms with very gusty winds and isolated ornadoes are possible within these rainbands."
Seas will remain over 10 feet in increasing south and southwest swells with increasing surf, coastal flooding and beach erosion through this afternoon and a storm surge of 6 to 7 feet possible directly along Lenny's path. The estimated minimum central pressure is 942 mb…or 27.81 inches of Mercury.


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