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Gaston ran out of gas

Well, that was a real one-day-wonder.

Tropical Storm Gaston, whose computer models showed it nailing the island next Thursday, went 'poof.'  It became what's called in the trade a 'remnant low," probably due to its sucking in a lot of dry air which kind of starved the storm for energy.

The National Weather Service cautions, however (that's their job) the mass of unstable air is still moving west and could get new energy.

If it wasn’t one storm, it could be another

That's the way lots of St. John locals are thinking today.  They just weathered Earl, took notice of Fiona, but now there's Gaston.

In Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," the Gaston character was "everyone's favorite guy."  Gaston, the tropical storm, will not be. 

Computer models have the storm still far east of the island, but drawing a bead on the VIs.

Gaston

This image is from the National Hurricane Center.  It shows the projected area of hurricane force winds over the next five days.

CaribStorm.com's "Closest Point of Approach" tool  estimates Gaston could come as close as 100 miles next Thursday morning.  With a big wind area (Earl, today, is 500 miles wide), St. John could get hit.

St. John Returning to normal

A check of St. John Webcams shows some on and some off.  The "on" includes St. John Brewers' beautiful shot across Pillsbury sound.  Remember the islands like this.

Brewers

St. John's John Fuller (he also heads up St. John Rescue) blogged on StormCarib.com that Mongoose Junction's juice was restored midday Wednesday. 

"Looks like St. John caught the most of Earl," he continued, "but most of the folks I talked to in and around Cruz Bay were thankful it was mostly a vegetation clearing with little damage."

The Governor lifted curfew last night since electricity has largely been
restored on St. Thomas and St. John.  Government offices and schools
are also open today.

Video: Boats aground at Great Cruz Bay, Chocolate Hole

Steve Steve Simonsen, the world class photographer, was on the north side of Great Cruz Bay when Earl was pounding the island Monday evening at about 6.

He shot video. 

The camera is looking across the bay.  The Westin Resort is to the right, out of sight. You can see his video by clicking here.


Captbk

CaptainBK also posted some storm video to the Weather Channel. It shows too many boats on their sides on the beaches at Great Cruz and Chocolate Hole.  Watch it here.

St. John's Eric Lidicker posted on his Facebook page that St. John is messy but not devastated. "STJ was mostly cosmetic w tree damage since the soil was already saturated from all the rain we've had & new growth."

St. John ferries are back

Ferry boats are arriving again at the Cruz Bay dock.

Ferry_3 This is a shot of from the St. John Spicecam, taken at about 12:15 p.m.  It could be the Noon from Red Hook, or someplace else.  It is not the first load of folks to arrive; they began coming via various boats after 10 a.m.

As a bonus, look at the bottom left of the picture – the infamous beach where people write things for folks back home to see.

Today's sand-scrit says "Bye Earl".

Speaking of the Spicecam, it's been very very popular since the weekend.  Even today, getting something like 1,200 visitors a minute.

That’s our FEMA, part 2

You can't make this stuff up.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency just e-mailed this to reporters … at 4:25pm Tuesday!  makes you think they started writing these things 10 days ago and are parceling them out now.

WASHINGTON – As Hurricane Earl moves toward Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and then up toward the East Coast of the United States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is urging all Americans in East Coast states to take steps …"

Is this really better late than never?

Westin beach littered by damaged boats

While the Westin Resort said it suffered "minimal" damage from Earl, and no structural damage, the same cannot be said for folks with boats moored in Great Cruz Bay.


Twoboats Bob Egan
, a guest from West Falmouth, Mass, staying at the Westin, was on the beach today shooting video and stills of the day after.

Westinbeach He said 'some pretty nice vintage boats' litter the beach, eight in all, including a 30-foot "Cape" and a cabin cruiser.

For folks like himself, staying at the resort, the storm was just a 'bad, rainy day.'

Police and Red Cross workers, he said, were also seen at the Westin today.

You can see Egan's stills and videos, loaded onto CNN's iReport Web site, here.

Westin says damage ‘minimal’

An announcement from the Westin St. John says Earl was no big deal. The resort "experienced minimal damage to our outdoor areas and the property did not sustain any structural damage. The resort team is currently cleaning up landscaping debris. Our associates and customers are all safe."

While the Beach Cafe and pool will reopen Wednesday, and the Snorkels bar/restaurant will be back in operation Friday, the beach is closed "until the necessary water safety tests have been completed."

The morning after ain’t pretty

Thanks to Doug Benton, aka 'Crabby' of Crabby's Watersports in Coral Bay, we're getting a better and bitter idea of St. John a day after Earl.

In a lengthy post including information from about half a dozen locals, Crabby says:

  • Power's out on St. John; could be down for a week
  • Land phone lines are working.
  • The dock at the Westin's gone. Six boats on the beach.
  • Chocolate Hole beach is littered with boats that were torn from their moorings.

Read Crabby's full report here: