MIAMI -- A
hurricane watch is in effect for the British Virgin Islands, St.
Thomas and St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Puerto Rican
islands of Culebra and Vieques as Hurricane Frances churns near the
northern Leeward Islands.
warnings also have been issued for Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda,
Nevis, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts, St. Martin/Maarten, Saba and St.
Barts. A hurricane watch indicates that hurricane conditions are
possible within 36 hours while a tropical storm warning indicates
tropical storm conditions are favorable within 24 hours.
The category three
storm, with sustained winds clocked at 125 mph, is expected to
graze Puerto Ricos mainland and other islands of the northeastern
Caribbean by Tuesday before plowing into the Bahamas later in the
week. South Florida also could be a target for Frances.
In the U.S. Virgin
Islands, the Virgin Islands National Park on St. John was closed
Monday; many boat owners anchored their boats in a protected lagoon
on St. John known as Hurricane Hole. Cruise ship calls in St.
Thomas also have been affected with two lines canceling calls on
Monday and Tuesday.
storm Gaston drenched the Carolinas over the weekend and moved up
the East Coast. Meanwhile, tropical storm Hermine was headed for
the north Atlantic in a weakened state.
reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].