Home News Local news SEAPORTS, AIRPORTS CLOSE DOWN AS LENNY LOOMS

SEAPORTS, AIRPORTS CLOSE DOWN AS LENNY LOOMS

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The Virgin Islands gradually sealed itself off Tuesday as Hurricane Lenny lurched eastward toward the territory laden with heavy rains and strengthening winds that had boosted it to a Category 3 storm by late afternoon.
The Coast Guard closed all seaports to incoming vessels weighing more than 200 gross tons at noon. Interisland ferry service between the U.S. and British Virgin Islands was halted at 2 p.m. Barge service to St. John was discontinued at Red Hook at 6 p.m., and the last ferries between St. Thomas and St. John were to depart Red Hook and Cruz Bay at 8 p.m., the Port Authority reported.
By Coast Guard directive, vessels 2,000 gross tons and over already in port in the territory were to depart by 8 p.m. Calvin Wheatley of The West Indian Company Ltd. said the two cruise ships calling at St. Thomas Tuesday, the Nordic Empress and the Carnival Triumph, were scheduled to leave at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m., respectively.
St. Croix's Henry E. Rohlsen Airport shut down at 6 p.m. after the departure of U.S. Airways flight 2134, which was scheduled to take off at 5:05 p.m.
The Port Authority announced plans to keep the Cyril E. King Airport open until 10 p.m. in order to accommodate the arrival of American Airlines flight 787, due in from Miami at 9:18 p.m. V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency officials said the arriving passengers and flight personnel would be exempt from the 9 p.m. territorywide curfew announced in the afternoon by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull.
All seaports and airports will remain closed until authorities determine that it is safe to resume operations. Before the seaports can reopen, Wheatley said, surveys will be made to ensure that there is no blockage of navigable waters. As long as there is heavy rain, with standing water on the runways, it is unlikely that the airports will reopen.

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