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ST. JOHN HEADED FOR QUICK RECOVERY

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Although weather conditions brought by the approach of Lenny lasted longer and made life more rugged than October's Hurricane Jose, reports received by VITEMA St. John Deputy Director Alvis Christian carried favorable tidings — no deaths or injuries, no significant property damage, no boats sunken or run aground.
As the tropical storm force winds died down over St. John and the dark clouds of Hurricane Lenny lifted, emergency managers on this island began putting the life of the island back in order.
Christian, joined by island Administrator Julian Harley and Senator-At-Large Almando "Rocky" Liburd, toured the island for a cursory damage assessment.
National Guardsmen spent part of Thursday morning clearing public roads of fallen trees.
Work remained on a short list of needs affecting both small and large groups of residents: An emergency shelter in Coral Bay that kept its doors open to accommodate boaters who found their cabins flooded by heavy rains; restoration of marine transportation systems between St. Thomas and St. John; and restoring electrical power to an island that has been virtually powerless for more than 24 hours.
The power problem was one shared between St. Thomas and St. John. Winston Smith, line supervisor for the V.I. Water and Power Authority told those attending a post-hurricane assessment meeting that 75 percent of St. John would be re-energized as soon as the main electrical feeders from St. Thomas were restored. Meanwhile, line crews on St. John tackled a handful of downed power lines in Estate Contant, Pastory, and Rendezvous Point.
Christian and others attending that Thursday afternoon meeting at VITEMA headquarters at Estate Suzannaberg were also told that marine transportation services between the two islands would return by 6 a.m. Friday. One of the island’s two commuter ferry services, Varlack Ventures, sent round trip ferries on a limited schedule late Thursday afternoon.
Transportation was also on the minds of representatives of the island's two major resorts. Caneel Bay Resort announced plans to send their private ferries to pick up employees early Friday morning from St. Thomas to help assess any structural damage and begin cleaning up debris from the landscaping.
Damage assessments are also under way at the St. John Westin, where a company representative said they still had guests in-house and needed their staff to return and relieve the resident management crew who had been attending those guests when the territory was placed under curfew in anticipation of Lenny's approach.

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