Home News Local news CURFEW TO REMAIN IN PLACE ON ST. CROIX

CURFEW TO REMAIN IN PLACE ON ST. CROIX

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Gov. Charles W. Turnbull said Monday evening that he was continuing St. Croix's nighttime curfew because half the island remained without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Lenny.
The governor said he was doing so despite calls from many quarters for its relaxation.
After consulting with police, Water and Power Authority and V.I. Telephone Corp. officials, he said, "I have decided to maintain the existing curfew at 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. until more power has been restored to St. Croix."
While mindful of "the business community and others" calling for the lifting or relaxing of the curfew, he said, "I feel the safety of our community is of the utmost importance."
A Government House spokeswoman has said the curfew would be lifted when 80 percent of the island has power restored.
Despite a curfew following Hurricane Georges in September 1998, an Enfield Green man was murdered and his wife wounded when several young men broke into the couple’s home. The men were subsequently arrested and found guilty of the murder and other charges stemming from the crime spree that took place while most of the island was without power.
Police Commissioner Franz Christian echoed Turnbull’s concern about ensuring the safety of people on St. Croix, visitors and residents alike. He said police staffing was playing a role in the decision to extend the curfew. Officers have been working 12 to 16-hour days since Hurricane Lenny struck the island last Wednesday.
"It’s the most prudent thing to do," Christian said.
Turnbull said he would return to St. Croix on Tuesday to assess recovery operations and meet with a delegation from Puerto Rico headed by Norma Burgos, the commonwealth's secretary of state and acting governor in the absence of Gov. Pedro Rossello.
"The government of Puerto Rico has kindly offered their assistance in our recovery efforts," Turnbull said.
He said the territory "is moving swiftly to complete assessments and transmit the necessary documentation" to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In addition to his request to FEMA last week for the federal government to fund the full cost of public sector hurricane recovery, the governor said, he will request federal Interior Department funding "for beach restoration."
Also, Turnbull said, "we are working to reassure the national and international media that the reports of massive destruction and loss of lives are unfounded, and that the Virgin Islands has come through Hurricane Lenny, a Category 4 storm, in miraculously good condition."
For a status report on WAPA's restoration of power on St. Croix so far and its timetable to complete re-energizing of the island, see Community/Data.

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