Dorian directly impacts US Virgin Islands, spares most of Puerto Rico
After several unexpected turns in its path through the northeastern Caribbean Sea, what is now Hurricane Dorian ended up striking the United States Virgin Islands directly, making landfall in the island of St. Croix, while sparing most of Puerto Rico from its effects. The island municipalities of Vieques and Culebra however did get some of the storm’s winds and rain as it made its way through the region.
As the storm’s forecasted path shifted, the administration of Governor Albert Bryan Jr. (D) had not issued any major declaration beyond offering sand bags to residents until a last minute press call Tuesday at 7:45 pm announced by email 7 minutes prior. This prompted a backlash as The Virgin Islands Consortium reported, with members of the territory’s legislature criticizing the governor’s course of action. Senator Janelle Sarauw (D) posted on her Facebook profile that “[t]o address the people of the Territory the night before weather is scheduled to pass us is unbelievable. Preparation, awareness, hurricanes know no political affiliation.”
In fact, it wasn’t until a release at 6:00 am on Wednesday that the US Virgin Islands government announced “the closure of schools and government offices throughout the territory due to Tropical Storm Dorian.” For comparison, Puerto Rico’s government had cancelled classes after 1:00 pm on Tuesday, and had announced the Wednesday closure of schools and government offices since Monday.
Puerto Rico breathes sigh of relief, as it continues to get attacked by Donald Trump
Across the brief waterway passage, in Puerto Rico’s main island, a huge sigh of relief was felt, as the storm spared the recovering US territory from most of its effects. Officials focused on thanking the public for preparing itself, remaining off the streets and heeding warnings to take the storm seriously.
My most sincere gratitude to the federal government for their support to all US citizens in 🇵🇷 during the threat posed by #Dorian. I'm extremely proud of how our people and our government handled the situation by staying calm and showing great preparedness and resiliency. pic.twitter.com/YRQoNqy19M
— Wanda Vázquez Garced (@wandavazquezg) August 29, 2019
As the storm was expected to make its impact, the President of the United States Donald Trump (R) took to Twitter to attack Puerto Rico, implying the territory was not grateful, attacking San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin (PDP, I), while also seeming to blame the territory for being in the path of storms.
We are tracking closely tropical storm Dorian as it heads, as usual, to Puerto Rico. FEMA and all others are ready, and will do a great job. When they do, let them know it, and give them a big Thank You – Not like last time. That includes from the incompetent Mayor of San Juan!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2019
Trump doubled down a few hours later, calling Puerto Rico “one of the most corrupt places on earth,” and himself “the best thing that’s ever happened to Puerto Rico!” This a day after repeating his lie that the territory had received $92 billion in recovery funding from Congress. Despite his Twitter antics, the White House had announced on August 27 the approval of an emergency declaration by the President for Puerto Rico, authorizing “the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts .” A similar declaration was announced the next day for the US Virgin Islands.
Hurricane Dorian is now expected to strengthen to category 3, and make its way to Florida.