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- - - 2010 Hurricane Season - - -

  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2011 08:13:20 -0400
Greetings from St John !
It's been awhile since I've posted...
The weather has been fantabulous here lately. Cool nights and warmer days, scattered showers...NICE  : ) Tonight we get treated to the LARGEST full moon in 18 years.. It's called a perigee moon meaning that the time of the full moon coincides closely to it's perigee...the moon's closest position to the earth....So all of those FULL MOON PARTIES should also be BIG !!! This full moon night ALSO coincides with the BLUES FESTIVAL in Coral Bay on ST John...  and is preceded by our St Patrick's Day Parade which occurs at noon time-ish ... Festivities begin EARLY and anyone can participate in the Parade...One year we even had a 'Green Flasher' dash through the parade route   tee hee !!! Anyone up for the challenge !
Right now we are having a brief rain shower with the sun still peeking through..Not enough rain to cancel Bootcamp Class !!! Just enough to cool it down.
Have GREAT day..get out to see the full moon at sunset/moon rise  . )

- Satellite Image St.John
  • By Gert van Dijken <gert at vandijken.com>
  • Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2011 10:52:36 -0800
Nasa's Earth Observatory Image of the Day is featuring a very nice satellite image of St.John:

Gert van Dijken
Caribbean Hurricane Network

- Thundery Thursday
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2010 06:47:13 -0400
Good morning all,
WELL..these past few days have been a 'little soggy'.  The roads that were repaired after the last bout of heavy rain are once again rippled and buckled. Yesterday morning it was so pitch black, even at 7:00 am. It was errie looking out from the deck at the new fitness center at Gifft Hill School...you could watch the rain mist coming over the tall hills, the HEAR the rain coming and then the hills disappearing in the heavy rain..then..mist again... Rain prety much ALL day. EXCEPT..the sun did peak out just around sunset....
More heavy rain overnight and some flashes of lightning and distant rumbles of thunder this a.m.  The satellite images indicate that this system is finally leaving the area.  We need to dry out !!!  Looks like a few more showers about to begin and now I am getting ready to go off to the fitness center.. Hope the roads are clear and that the sky will soon clear  : )
Have a great day !

- Eclipse? Not quite; can't be good news!
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2010 13:18:36 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
Take a look at the picture; this cannot be good news.  Must be that rain all 
those weather alerts warned us about.  Got dark very, very fast, and the 
animals took cover as soon as this started to move in. 

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- Whole lota soaking goin' on
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2010 01:49:16 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
We got stuck in one of the crazy-heavy rain bands right around midnight Monday 
a.m.; like someone turned on the fire hose. Rain was so heavy that it woke me 
up.  We picked up well over an inch of rain in less than an hour out here in 
Coral Bay, on top of what already fell in the last two days.  Went out in the 
middle of the whole thing to check out the rain cups -- just to confirm the 
amount and got soaking wet from being out for there for about a minute.  Hope 
this quiets down soon!!

        Areal Flood Advisory, Flash Flood Watch, High Surf Advisory     

Statement as of 12:23 PM AST on November 08, 2010

The National Weather Service in San Juan has issued an

* Urban and Small Stream Flood Advisory
for the following islands...

in the U.S. Virgin Islands
     Saint John and Saint Thomas

* until 315 am AST

* at 1217 am AST... Doppler radar indicated scattered to numerous
showers and isolated thunderstorms moving over Saint Thomas and
Saint John from the west. Rainfall amounts of around two inches are
possible through 315 am. Ground conditions remain saturated from
yesterdays rainfall... any additional rainfall will result in Urban
and Small Stream flooding.

Most flood deaths occur in automobiles. Never drive your vehicle into
areas where the water covers the roadway. Flood waters are usually
deeper than they appear. Just one foot of flowing water is powerful
enough to sweep vehicles off the Road. When encountering flooded
roads make the smart choice... turn around... dont drown.

Lat... Lon 1827 6470 1827 6498 1831 6510 1842 6510
      1844 6485 1840 6484 1840 6467 1831 6463

- Dark with heavy rain burst; hope to stay out of the thick of it
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Sat, 6 Nov 2010 18:12:28 -0400 (EDT)
We just had a significant downpour, compliments of Tomas's tail (see photo).  
At least we made it through the Team River Runner/wounded warrior cookout this 
afternoon (at the American Legion out here in Coral Bay) without any rain.  It 
is pitch black now.

The current radar view is showing a nasty rain corridor running right through 
St. Croix.  Hope things aren't too bad over there.  Pray we stay out of the 
worst of it.  Pre-Otto left us with substantial erosion and landslides; can't 
handle much more of that out here in Coral Bay.  

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- all is quiet
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Sat, 6 Nov 2010 07:35:30 -0400
Good morning all,
The weather here on St John has been quite nice this past week.   Brisk, dry, coolish breezes...like Christmas Winds come early. A few showers here and there, but mostly clear and bright.
This morning the sky was a weird pinkish-orange color, but is now overcast and grey.  Today is the Open House at the 'new' Fitness Center at The Gifft Hill School  from 9-12  with a free Bootcamp Class at 9:30 am....weather permitting...It looks like we can expect some bands of rain from Tomas through Monday...hope it holds off until later today!!!!
Don't forget...The States set their clocks BACK one hour tonight..we DON'T   : )

- fringe of Tomas brings wind and showers
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2010 08:00:02 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
Just when you thought you saw the last of Tomas -- the wind machine is back; 
reminds me of the pre-Otto wind and rain-a-thon.  Currently, winds are gusting 
over 30 knots in some areas; we clocked 21 knots several times this a.m., and 
that's pretty high for us here.  Several fast-moving showers came through this 
morning bringing wind-driven rain.  The forecast says this weather will be with 
us for the next few days, but no significant rain is being discussed.  Hope 
this is just a wind event.  Had to tie down several of the shutters because 
they were moving during the night due to the increased wind.  On the plus side, 
it does feel very comfortable, temperature-wise.

Of course, this is all very minor compared to what some of the other islands 
experienced, and what Hispaniola is facing. I hope the inhabitants make it 
through with their lives. 

- One puff, now dry -- at least for the time being
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2010 11:25:32 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
One of the outer bands of Tomas gave us a quick blow and related shower just 
before 7 a.m. -- winds up above 30 knots, but since then things have been dry, 
warm and pleasantly breezy; horizon continues to be hazy.  The bulk of Tomas 
does not show up on local radar -- the eye is too far south.  But French 
Antilles radar seems to indicate a substantial north-eastern chunk of rain 
related to that system and that could potentially swing into our area at some 

- Some sun; dry day. Thank goodness!
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Sat, 9 Oct 2010 11:59:44 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
The day has been dry so far, and that is a blessing. Sun is coming out from 
time to time; much appreciated.  

Roads are passable throughout most of the island; some side streets still have 
mud piles (one lane closed) but those are mainly secondary roads.  There is 
much work to be done with secondary infrastructure but, in true island spirit, 
that is beginning to move forward. This will likely be a big $$$ event for 
repairs.  Just no easy way to put a hillside back under a road. The good news 
is no reported injuries from this event.   So nice to have a day without rain.  
Its beginning to look like paradise again -- just soggier than normal.

- more dry time, still some wind and rain
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2010 13:12:18 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
The sun peaked out for about two seconds this a.m., but it's gone now.  
Currently, it's about 99 % overcast; continues to be gusty with periods of 
rain.  (Think we picked up another 1/2 inch already today.)  But things are so 
much better than they have been!  The non-rain periods are much longer than 
anything we have seen since Tuesday a.m.  Wind still whistling, but any dry 
time is a blessing!!!!

I've been having trouble with my internet connection via my cellphone, so I am 
sending this on dial up -- another slow endeavor since there is still plenty of 
rain crackle on the house phone line.  Overall, looks like the ground is 
staying put, and that's so important.   Keeping our fingers crossed that the 
storm moving out of our area!! 

- night comes and the wind and rain continue
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 18:01:26 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
Just went through another crazy, crazy, windy, rainy day, with things 
intensifying again. No end in sight.  Picked up at least another two inches of 
rain today, and the wind continues to howl.  Photo is a shot of Coral Bay as 
another wave of wet and windy hell moves through.  Most of the action is coming 
from the west, but the canopy over the bay and the gray really says it all. 

Every time we hear a new noise, we wonder if the land near us is beginning to 
move.  Right now that is our biggest fear, given that many areas in the 
neighborhood have become underminded; parts of roads continue to be one-lane, 
muddy paths. But no new slides reported, so that is great news.

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- Still more
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 15:28:57 -0400
Okay..again.. the sun peeks out and less than 20 mins later we are under deluge..rain, wind....C'mon now, I'm losing my tan...feeling pasty white..and damp. We've had some torrential down-pours and then... zip..nada..  However,  Radar still looks ominous.  Where is the information regarding this system ?  The roads seem to be open and 'crews' are out 'working'..
The sun will come out tomorrow,   tomorrow... bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow..
always optomistic  : )

- DARK DAY compliments of OTTO
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 08:06:30 -0400
Good day from wet STJ
Very dark skies this am in Cruz Bay. Right now there is, strangely, no wind or rain...completely still...unlike just a few minutes ago with strong and consistent wind and rumbles of thunder..Cruz Bay area has gotten about 20 inches of rain so far and more is on the way.  There have been road closings, and damage and debris.. by the Westin, in front of Mongoose Junction, the Marketplace,  a large rock slide out by Upper Carolina...and I'm sure there's lots more.  The south facing bays are brown with run-off and there are reports of boats a-ground.
Finding new leaks in the ceiling..so the towels are out in full force.  I'm really glad that tourists and cruise ship passengers leave their towels at the beaches so that us locals can replenish our towel brigades (tee hee ) and I'm also REALLY glad that my husband DID buy the de-humidifier at Home Depot...yay !
We haven't had much heavy thunder, just some distant rumbles...so far...no hiding in the closet for me !
With all of this rain, remember that going in the water will not be safe for several days even when the sun does return.
Well...stay dry and drive with caution!

- rain and wind machine still working
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 07:34:37 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
The rain and wind still continue to impact our island.  Several more inches of 
rain fell in the last 24 hours; more than three inches reported overnight in 
the Great Cruz Bay area.  Overall, we've gotten close to a foot of rain in the 
past few days.   It's a total whiteout right now -- wind howling.  And this is 
all supposedly due to St. Otto (sub-tropical Otto).  Power is still holding, 
but with the rain and wind, that might not last. The coordinates report the 
center of the storm to be several hundred miles away.  Just can't get a beat on 
this whole mess, weather-wise.   

- Power back on; hope the ground holds til things dry out
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2010 20:46:13 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
First -- a shout out to Low-Cal-Val in Cruz Bay.  Hope things remain relatively 
calm over on that side of the island, Val.  We were in town last night picking 
up our neighbor (whose plane finally made it in to St. Thomas).  It was a 
different island; very little wind in Cruz Bay, but the wind machine was full 
force out on this side.  Very odd.  

Evening update:  Power out here in Coral Bay came back on around 4 this 
afternoon; that really has boosted our spirits.  Kudos to the WAPA crews who 
worked during really bad, rainy weather to replace downed poles and get the 
juice back on.  (Once the lights returned, we immediately did a load of 
laundry; many wet towels and clothing from the past few days.) We had spent 
part of this morning helping neighbors clear small fallen trees, rocks and mud 
from the roads up here.  Several culverts were so clogged that it was hard to 
figure out where the drain actually was.  The good news is, dry periods seem to 
be getting longer; we are now able to drive down to Coral Harbor -- about two 
miles from our home; the roads have been made passable, but many stretches of 
road still have one lane shut down due to land slides.  Hope things hold; just 
had some major rain within the past hour.  

- two sides of a small Island
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2010 16:24:03 -0400
Hey all,
I just read Crabby's report from Coral Bay side.. WOW...I had heard about South Shore Road by the Westin being closed due to flooding, and road debris...experienced some rocks and mud and road heaves over by Pine Peace and the tennis courts. Surprisingly, there was little water by the tennis courts. and the temp. is cool.
  Some good winds and gusts here in town, but nothing huge.  The water facing south by Frank Bay and Enighed Pond is very brown, indicating much run-off.  Strangely,  we have had some peeks of sun and blue sky throughout the day over here.  Right now it's breezy, cool and no rain. 
 The Radar that I've been watching shows a strange image of this system re-wraping down towards this area. I SO agree with Crabby about the lack of information and forcasting ability regarding this storm . I've had many reports of folks with water running through their houses and cisterns over-flowing.  Where are the forcasting abilities hiding ? Let's hope no one drops the ball on any other weather systems...
lowcalval  : )

- More downed electical poles; rain and wind keep coming
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2010 14:23:08 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
Things have just been crazy for the past day and a half.  Several other power 
poles gave way out here in the Coral Bay area due to saturated ground. There 
are small mud/rock slides all over the place; some have closed portions of 
roads including several close to home.  Many culverts are chocked full of small 
rocks, vegetation and mud -- causing heavy water to run over roads.  Sadly, 
some of the roads have already been undermined.  Several spots within a half 
mile of our house will need extensive road repair because the bed of the road 
is washed out at least a full lane; this is on a secondary road to houses; 
don't know how the main road has held up.  Road crews continue to work on the 
downed poles.  We haven't had power since the overnight; I'm working off of 
backup battery right now. 

Rain falling on already saturated ground is a huge, huge problem.  6 inches 
during the overnight reported in several places, and I believe it.  A wash 
bucket, left on our deck for the past two days is now overflowing, and it is 
more than a foot high and pretty much straight up and down.  We can use the 
water to wash things until the power comes back on; always a bright side.

I really question the info provided on this storm system by the weather people. 
 We heard rain was coming -- moved in several days late -- but there was no 
word about high winds.  The gusts out here continue and are easily over 40 
knots (and the rain just keeps coming) -- a nasty combination.  Yet, I don't 
see any indication in official reports that this system is even a tropical 

By the look of things, this weather may be around for a few more days.  

- 97 giving up a good kickin'
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2010 17:24:04 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
Invest 97 started with rain at 2 am and is brutalizing us with crazy winds and 
torrential rain.  Friend just had her plane rerouted to San Juan.  The pilot 
says they plan to get into St. Thomas tonight, but I don't see it happening.  

This is worse wind that what we saw several autumns ago with Hurricane Omar -- 
and this is not even a named system.  I've attached two pictures -- one of 
Coral Bay with another menacing canopy of clouds moving in; the other is a 
distant shot of the lip of Coral Harbor, where rain and wind took down a power 
pole.  The bright spot is the power line shorting along a variety of things 
including several parked cars and a chain link fence.  Luckily, no one was 
hurt.  That happened mid-day today.  

The ground is pretty saturated, and the heavy rain is only making things worse. 
 The wind gust up here on the hillside are downright frightening; which we had 
the hurricane shutters closed on the east side of the house.  This, too, shall 

Attachment: IMG_2120.JPG
Description: JPEG image

Attachment: IMG_2130.JPG
Description: JPEG image

- dark and stormy
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2010 08:15:35 -0400
Greetings all,
Well, the rain that has been predicted since Sunday has started to arrive in bits and starts...A little drizzle..then heavy downpours....a little thunder...and then nothing. Right now just dark and no rain.. The system seems to be hanging around just south of the Virgin Islands.  We have not experienced any continued/prolonged rain or flash flooding. As a matter of fact the weather has been pretty nice until last night.  We'll see what today brings.  As of this morning NHC is giving this system a 50 % chance of developing. There is also a system in the southweatern Caribbean that may give some action around PR later this week...and then to the East is another Tropical Wave bobbing along...Whew !!!!  I guess the towels will stay out today... So this may be a good day to make soup  and do indoor projects  : )
Stay dry !!!

- ummmm
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2010 15:55:48 -0400
Hey all,
There SEEMS to be a bucket full of stuff going on out there..and no good info as to what to expect over the weekend.  .Right now, all is quiet here on STJ, cloudy, drizzles..maybe we are done for now..Kitties are still hiding..

- Holy Crap !
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2010 11:43:15 -0400
Greetings from STJ..
Wow..what was all that here in Cruz Bay about 30 mins ago..HUGE thunder..CRACKING lightning... NO wind squalls...the cats and I were hiding in the bathroom...seriously, we were..I said..me no likey many times...the internet went down temporarily...very dark out there right now and the rain has tapered, but I can hear some distant rumbles of thunder.  Maybe this is the window of opportunity to run to the grocery store !
It looks like we will be experiencing these conditions through the weekend as this large and still disorganized system comes by.  Also..do keep an eye on the Western Caribbean..the system that was mentioned earlier in the week may be developing..kind of a 'lefty' kinda guy!   Okay more Thunder gotta go !!!

- So Happy It's Thursday ..think tgif...
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2010 08:03:35 -0400
Good morning all from STJ
A special hello to Patty C... : )  Stay dry up there !
It's been awhile since I've posted because ..well...nothing much has been happening..The weather has been pretty quiet with some rain at night, brief showers during the day..
Was at Trunk Bay yesterday for lunch st the snack bar and a quick dip in the water.  There were alot of 'interesting' folks from a cruise ship there as well...I think they may have been with a tatoo/biker kind of group  ( tee hee...)  Well the sky darkened up, the air started to cool, so we packed up to leave and then BOOM..down pour for a good 5 minutes or more..Hope the tatoos didn't wash off !
Today,  the early morning started with a pinkish-orange sunrise, but now it is overcast and feeling humid.There are alot of red and yellow colors on Radar this morning and it looks like we will be in for some rain for the weekend.  I guess we could us some. That being said. I'll have to have my husband wash and clean the Suzuki, that wil guarentee the rain to come  : ) Maybe also clean the gutters !
Activity from the East is increasing again after a slight lull in the action..The Saharan dust is low, water temps are warm and the Pacific ITCZ has shifted..So keep your eyes on the Eastern Atlantic as well as the Caribbean Sea for potential events !
Have a great day!

- STJ update
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2010 07:46:27 -0400
Hello folks and good morning !
 Things here on St John have been pretty quiet and uneventful since Earl paid a visit.  The trees are beginning to recover and are sprouting new leaves...and the ocean water has cleared..
Today it seems like we are getting some good breezes and cloud bands from Big boy Igor and the surf should be up today as well.  Swimmers and surfers be aware of rip-currents !   Igor is still moving slowly... to the WNW, but is a few hundred miles closer to us than originally predicted but still should not give us any direct impact  yay for that  :  )
More waves coming from Africa...so keep your eyes open and stay aware...
Have a great Thursday!

- We were fortunate
  • By "John Fuller" <jfuller at islands.vi>
  • Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2010 17:33:13 -0400

Good afternoon,

WAPA crews finally worked their way over toward Mongoose and we got power about 11:30 this morning. Good thing since our generator, which started right up Tuesday morning for breakfast things refused to start up last night for drink and dinner preparation (and restoring cold to the fridge/freezer).  No power, no internet, no phone. Yesterday the Sprint service finally was restored so we were not totally cut off.  I was able to call around to numerous friends to find that they had no spare generator.  I will be overhauling the carburetor (hey, it’s all I know) and hope to be ready for Gaston.


Looks like little St John caught the most of Earl, followed closely by St Thomas’ north side. But most of the folks I talked to in and around Cruz Bay were thankful that it was mostly a vegetation clearing with little damage that would be hard to fix. Some were glad that they listened to their father and moved the car out from under the trees.  “Out in the open” he said.  Wise words. Our vistas have improved with the defoliation and thinning of the jungle around us, and with power restored we’ll have a celebratory cocktail tonight and toast our best wishes to all for a speedy return to normal (whatever your perception of normal may be). Also a shower!


Many thanks to the WAPA crews who worked through the early and late hours to keep it going and then to get it fixed.  It was a monumental job. Now if “Innovative” could just put out the same degree of effort.  It was a little tough to hear on my cell connection but I think they (Innovative repair) said it (our phone) would be fixed by the 7th. Could have said the 2nd, but I somehow doubt it.



- Power returning to some parts of the island
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2010 17:49:31 -0400 (EDT)
Here is the latest: Mammey Peak-er has power; we still don't in Upper Carolina. 
 But any progress does give hope.  Parts of Cruz Bay have had power since this 
a.m.; the airport is open, but the ferries will not be running until tomorrow.  
Check with local officials/listen to the radio for the most up-to-date on 
openings, etc. 

Update from Hurricane-prone Man*: The tree at Lucy's is 'no more'[the 
century-old sea grape tree]; the Tourist Trap got hit pretty hard - lots of 
downed power lines out towards Concordia.  Francis Bay took a pretty good hit; 
not much beach left. Maho beach took it pretty hard; almost no beach to the 
west of the building (old concession stand). (*HPM says he had been though six 
hurricanes including Andrew.) 

Lots of vegetation and a few small downed trees in our yard; fence is all 
mashed up. We are grateful to get off so easy.

Photo attached is of Crabby's and the kayak rack -- similar to a canary in a 
cage when it comes to a hurricane.

Attachment: crabbys.JPG
Description: JPEG image

- Earl
  • By Val Donaghue <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2010 15:58:37 -0300 (GMT-03:00)
 Hey all
Cruz Bay survived okay..lots of tree limbs, leaves..some boats didn't fair so 
well out by the Creek.. No electricity and this may be for awhile. Great Cruz 
Bay and Chocolate Hole waters faired much less well. Many boats on the shore 
and rocks..On a good note..Woody's is open, The Beach Bar is open..the sun is 
coming out and drying things out..word is that Coral Bay did okay also..Really 
not much rain except for Bordeux area as I have heard..all is good  : )

- No power, debris, south west boat problems
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2010 10:51:51 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
Here is the latest from St. John. This report includes on-scene observations 
shared with me this a.m.:

Power is out to both St. John and St. Thomas.  Many transformers blew during 
the height of the storm; St. Thomas fire personnel have been busy responding to 
power-pole related fires.  Based on power infrastructure damage and debris 
issues caused by down trees and branches, several folks estimate power could be 
out on St. John for a week. Only an estimate, but looks like this will take 

The St. Thomas airport remains closed.  

Many boats on the south and western sides of St. John did not fare well.  A 
first-person account from the Westin describes the whole dock out, awning down, 
six boats on the beach and two on the rocks.  In Chocolate Hole, only one boat 
remained on its mooring -- and not in a good spot -- being caught in the surf.  
The rest are up on the beach. (I do not have any specifics or names of boats.  
Hard-line phones are still working in most parts of St. John; it is best to 
contact the person who is overseeing your vessel or property, or someone you 
know in the immediate area who can provide details.  At this point, folks 
on-island are being asked not to drive around due to downed wires, etc., so 
please keep that in mind.)

In Coral Bay, preliminary reports describe one boat de-masted. (The owner is 
there and aware of this.) Hope to get more details if there is anything to 
report.   That side of the island did not have the storm surge which plagued 
the south and west areas (similar to Tortola reports re: Nanny Cay, which is 
also on the southern side of Tortola).

To everyone who took time to personally email me to say thank you for the 
reports -- thank you for your kind words.  I would hope someone would do the 
same if I was not able to post; knowing that my on-island friends are well 
gives me great peace of mind.  A special thanks to Mammey-Peak-er, East End-er, 
Gifft Hill Guy, Zootenvaal Girl, Bethany-man and Sea-Graper for providing 
on-scene information.

- Fwd: St John
  • By Gert van Dijken <gert at vandijken.com>
  • Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2010 06:36:11 -0700

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Marty Soderlund
Date: Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 4:55 AM
Subject: St John
To: gert at gobeach.com

My sister and brother in law live on St John, (Contant area)...just spoke w/her by phone.  She said things really picked up after nine last night.  One house lost its roof, lots of rain.  They lost power yesterday a.m. A tree took out the line to their house, WAPA said they would be up first thing this morning but the winds are still too strong.
Hope this helps,

Gert van Dijken
Caribbean Hurricane Network

- things quieting down
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2010 21:12:35 -0400 (EDT)
Latest report is that things have quieted down.  Folks I spoke to said they 
have not yet been able to get outside to look around; Mammey Peak-er said she 
heard trees cracking throughout the later part of the storm.  

Everyone I've been in contact with still has hard-line phone service -- and 
that is great news.  If I hear anything noteworthy, I will pass it along.  We 
are grateful that are friends have made it through.


- Wind up; still holding.
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2010 19:37:31 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
East Ender, Mammey Peaker and the Gifft Hill guy all independently estimate 
winds for the past hour blowing at 110 MPH.  Still no major damage reported (no 
roofs off that they can see); one has an arbor down, another reports close to 
total defoliation on the tops of big trees near the house, and branches and 
some trees down, another tells of the biggest waves she has ever seen looking 
easterly from the East End of St. John towards Norman island, etc.  So... not 
the kind of wind you want to see keep up, but all also noted that things are 
subsiding a bit.  They quiet down, then pick up again.  Overall, the news has 
been much, much better than expected.  I plan to check back at 9 pm via phone 
for one last on-island this evening. 

- Transformer blown, but still no major damage at this point
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2010 17:35:52 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
Mammey Peak-er reports that winds have picked up quite a bit in the past 10 to 
15 minutes (about 5:20 pm), and a transformer in the Mammey Peak area 
apparently just blew.  She also describes pieces of leaves in the air looking 
like butterflies or small birds, but no major damage that she can detect.  Keep 
fingers crossed.  I am scheduled to check back at 7 pm.  

And we have TS Fiona to work on our minds. "Thank you, sir.  May I please have 

- So far, so good.
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2010 15:25:49 -0400 (EDT)
Here is the latest from several people on the eastern side of St. John, USVI -- 
there are a few branches down, but very little damage reported at this point 
during the passing of Hurricane Earl.  There are wind gusts reported around 40 
mphs, and that has been ongoing, but limited rain.  Power has been off and on, 
mainly off right now. Internet is spotty if at all. 

Given the strength of the storm and the forecast track, it will be interesting 
to see what, if anything, the next few hours bring.  As long as I can make 
phone contact with people on island, I will provide an update with actual 
on-the-ground reports.  So far so good.  Remember that this is what several 
people who are there are reporting, from their vantage. 


- Report from STJ -- power out for most of the island
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2010 11:30:12 -0400 (EDT)
I am in the states, but have had contact, by phone, from East End, Hurricane 
Hole, Gifft Hill and the Bordeaux area (outside of Coral Bay) of St. John, USVI.

As of 10:30 a.m., all of the people I spoke with in those areas are without 
power.  East End went first around 7 a.m. followed by Zootenvaal (Hurricane 
Hole), then Gifft Hill and the Bordeaux area around 10 to 10:30 a.m.  Reports 
are wind gusts in the 60 knot range, and a lot of waiting. 

Hardlines are still working, but most folks have lost internet.  Several people 
involved with amateur radio and the local ham weather net have asked for storm 
position updates from the National Hurricane Center, if I can continue to get a 
call through; those are issued every three hours. If I am able to make 
additional contact through the day, I will share any on-the-ground condition 

John and Val in Cruz Bay -- good luck to you.  To the folks and animals on St. 
John and all the other islands, may God bless you, and may Earl be kind. 


- Earl came a little earlier than we thought
  • By "John Fuller" <jfuller at islands.vi>
  • Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2010 08:33:37 -0400

Good morning,

We were prepared thanks to daughter Stephanie and four of her friends who had come down Wednesday to celebrate her birthday and got out as planned Sunday afternoon.  But, before they left they carried in furniture and got us all prepped for the blow … which I expected to start today! Did not get much sleep after 1am when the winds started and then the rain bands hit us.  Lots of little branches around, one big one fell off on the edge of the property, so far no damage, just a lot of “stuff” in the pool and around.  We’re pretty dry for a change (had the entire roof re-done a couple of years ago so we have no more water running down the rafters into the fans.  And WAPA has kept the power on so far.  Wireless internet comes and goes,  Mostly gone.  This is coming dial-up.


Cruz Bay has all the ferries tied up close in the creek and boats in the harbor seem to be faring OK so far.  I don’t see any washed up on shore. We’re waiting for the next band and the gradual change in wind direction we expect this afternoon and evening.  Earl’s CPA is now 70 miles at 6pm with the strongest winds at the other side of the eye, thankfully. 

I’ll report more when more happens.  Keeping the four cats inside is the biggest problem we have right now.


I hope everyone was able to prepare as well.  Stay safe!

John Fuller

- Earl-y
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2010 08:38:50 -0400
Good morning all
It's still sunny and a little breezt right now and the temp here in Cruz bay around 83.  Yesterday had some sun and clouds ..as well as the return of my husband from Boston... : ) 
We are currently under Hurricane Watch here in the USVI.. hurricane conditions expected by 36 hrs. Yesterday there did not seem to be much concern or urgency as far as preparations being done.   Let's see what today brings.  More later when we know more or know less...

- Nuttin Huni
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2010 19:30:15 -0400
Hey all,
Colin went away and faded...maybe to re-surface elsewhere...STJ has been having WONDERFUL  weather for the past several days..sun...nice sun.., rain showers at night,  nice breezes again...but quite warm,  and the water is warm  :  )  All so far is good here...and I am getting out to practice riding my motor scootor..watch out...St..John...I think we are okay for now..but keep your heads up ..there are some blobs coming from Africa..so stay allert... Have a great night.... I am....as my husband is washing the  dishes  : )

- Sat-ur-day
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Sat, 24 Jul 2010 16:56:49 -0400
Hey all,
Wow,  What a wet week... I think Coral Bay had worse weather and more flooding than 'in town'. here in Cruz Bay town.   The town crews did clean-up the gravel and mud by the marketplace and the tennis courts  ..All good now...Went to the beach for a bit today..and now a movie and stuff....dinner etc...
No big stuff on the horizon for now
stay well

- Wow. Two more inches of rain.
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2010 20:36:48 -0400 (EDT)
Where is all of this rain coming from?  An inch of fell in about a half hour 
this evening -- on top of another inch earlier in the day -- creating localized 
flash flooding.  The attached picture is of the street that runs up past the 
Moravian Church in Coral Bay (start of the Johnny Horn Trail). Crazy!!  The 
problem is all the rain that has continually fallen over the past week has left 
the ground unable to hold much more. I thought my car might get washed away. 
Street was bone dry when I parked it about an hour earlier.    

Attachment: DSCF4190.JPG
Description: JPEG image

- And it keeps coming.
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2010 15:06:06 -0400 (EDT)
Hope this is the last round.  Another healthy patch of clouds, wind and rain is 
moving through Coral Harbor (hope you can see the picture, as the storm more 
from south to north into the harbor). Ran the wind meter up and added more rain 
to the already soaked ground.  Forecast for tomorrow is better. 

Attachment: IMG_1898.JPG
Description: JPEG image

- Heavy afternoon rain and shake
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2010 20:22:12 -0400 (EDT)
Things looked good up til about 2 pm; skies opened up again with wind, much 
rain, clouds.  We picked up another inch of rain.  Then, just after 8 pm local 
time, we had an earthquake.  Ground is already very soggy and unstable in some 
of the steeper areas.  Don't know if the shake (prelim. is 4.7) loosened any 
ground.  Hope tomorrow is drier. 

- drying out
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2010 08:17:54 -0400
Good morning...
Quite a difference this morning as compared to yesterday a.m. !!! What a storm we had ALL day..Incredibly dark, continuous rumbles of thunder, large gusts of wind,  and well...RAIN  !  There was considerable flooding and pooling of water at the entrance to the Marketplace and even deeper water near the tennis courts.  When driving by the tennis courts, the  water was high enough to come in the doors.  As a precaution I took my shoes off before going through...I didn't want my running shoes to get soaked.
Surprisingly, we did NOT lose our electricity.  It did dim a few times but stayed on all day...the Internet connection was a different story...no signal from St Thomas , as a matter of fact,  St Thomas was not visible  from Cruz Bay for much of the day.  WOW !
Right now, the sun is poking through the remnants of clouds and some blue sky is visable...yay  : ) So...I guess Bootcamp class is ON !
Looking down the road it looks like we will have more weather later this week and maybe into the weekend, so dry out those mop-up towels !
Have a great day  : )

- Getting kicked by "Vigorous Tropical Wave"
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2010 17:26:55 -0400 (EDT)
Can't remember the last time we really saw the sun for any extended period.  
Rain, thunder, lightning and wind -- up to 30 mph -- throughout the day.  We 
picked up more than 2 inches since 7 this morning; this, on top of an already 
soggy ground has taken down a few trees. 

Coral Bay has turned brown as rain rushes from the ghutts into the sea.  Used 
to happen quickly but, with soil erosion programs paying dividends, you need 
quite a bit of rain to darken the bay.  And it keeps coming.  

Thunder in the distance, thunder on top of us.  A few customers braved the rain 
and made it to Crabby's Watersports; one group had to wait out one of the 
heaviest downpours of the day -- with thunder and lightning and rain blowing 
sideways, lasting about 15 minutes -- before heading back outside.  Nice way to 
get to know vacationers! Hope the weather improves for them.  Right now, 
thunder sounds like fireworks in the distance.  Might be a long night.  

- Invest 97 ???
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2010 14:28:26 -0400
Good day all...
So...we are supossed to be experiencing high winds and heavy rains right now ...Today,  except for early this morning, which was cloudy with a few rumbles of thunder and brief sprinkle, has been..well.. mostly sunny ,  a few scatterd clouds and passing shower, but actually, quite nice except for the humidity.   Looking at the Satellite images and radar this a.m. it appeared that the tropical wave had allready passed to our North..leaving us with sun.. : )   However, we had a similar senario yesterday until around late afternoon when all of a sudden..BOOM  !  And I had just gotten to Hawksnest Beach for a quick dip.... And  ALAS   (who uses that word anymore! tee hee  )  it has started to cloud up and the more recent images do indicate that the swirly mess should come by St John at some time...but we are such a small island and sometimes weather systems just plain old forget about us ..yay !
There are a few Blobs out there to the East to keep in mind...one that just came of the African coast bears watching....the cats are melting on the floor, on the kitchen island, on the window sill, and above the refigerator...what a life !

- Sunday
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2010 19:24:08 -0400
Hey all,
Today was not all that bad...weather wise.. went for a quick run from Cruz Bay to Caneel and back..got to prune away some catch-n-keep....(does anyone out there have irradication methods for this stuff?)...Later went to Hawksnest for a swim,  but thunder clouds and thunder rumbles started...so...the lightnig magnet that I am,  exited the beach...fast   : .0  The rain came from the East...sort of...   I watched it come across from the Caneel Bay
over-look....and made it home to close a few shutters and feed some 'scared' and hungry kitties.. then snuggled to read for a while...
Watch the Beasts from the  East...
lowcalval  :  )

- Weather Soon Come
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2010 13:35:01 -0400
Heads up..
Looks like we in the VI are going to get some heavy weather as seen on Radar..Heard some thunder, but all is calm right now...Get the towels ready I think...  and get to grocery store    OH..by the way..does anyone need some REALLY healthy Catch-n-Keep ?  . )
Cheers !

- crazy $%# at ^
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2010 23:14:39 -0400
Whoa ....
What was THAT.. that..came through around 5:00 pm ?  Here in Cruz Bay , it started as a sprinkle, then became heavier rain,...Then..BOOM...WIND, RAIN, THUNDER...Dark Skies,  The kitties and I ran to the bathroom to hide when the LARGE clap of thunder came. ( The bath has  only 1 window....lightnig can't get in..I hope   : ) )  It all passed rather quickly, but I DID leave the windows to the allready damp Suzuki open, so  very soggy seats for a trip to the grocery store...only one  store stop today..and some mop-up duty for the kitchen floor...BUT..it did keep the chickens away so that I didn't have to wave a rake at them to stay away from my outdoor kitties food plates..yay...all is good.

- Windy Wednesday
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2010 08:13:41 -0400
Good morning all,
82 and currently overcast and quite BREEZY.  Dark clouds coming from the East..'Last night/early this a.m. was almost an exact replay of Monday night/early a.m. with big gusts of wind and bursts of heavy rain...except ...I did remember to roll up the windows to the Suzuki    : )  There's still a good amount of Saharan Dust out there but it looks like it's starting to break up a bit and head North....however, there's more coming along.   There are also several waves continuing to come off of the African coast and we are expecting some weather from one of them over the weekend.  Keep your eye of the sky !!!

- festival time
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2010 19:50:20 -0400
Good evening !
 Yesterday was a really nice, clear day here in Cruz Bay...AND..the opening of Festival/Carnival Village last night. The music was...well.. LOUD   (I wish I had Emoticons).  It sounded like they were in our living area !!!  The first band, Cool Sessions was loudly Island good, the second band was loudly heavy base and rocked our house !!!!Living in 'town' has it's draw backs at times..epecially now.. not much sleep happening with all of the festivities. 
 Very hazy today and quite humid, and at 7:30 pm the Village and music is allready starting..Ohhhh weee.
So.. we are ecaping to Tortola for most of the weekend for R+R and to get some sleep !  However, we'll be back for the grand parade on Monday.  It's always fun...LONG..entertaining on many levels... if you know what I mean . )
Lots of little waves coming from Africa and a large plume of dust that wil be with us for a bit....eyes itch and little cough...better than...bad stuff..
Have a great weekend and 4th of July to the US

- here we go
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Sat, 26 Jun 2010 07:42:21 -0400
Good morning !
Hey...what's that shiny, yellow thing up there in the sky this a.m. ?  Is it ....the SUN ? Currently 79 and blue sky and some actual sunshine.  We had some good rain last night and it's definately time to power wash !
So..we now have Tropical Storm Alex and he seems to want to go to Texas.  This system is carrying large/huge amounts of rain and appears to be gathering strength and organization.  We also have Invest 94 which is sitting North of the USVI and P.R. and looks to be heading North/Northwest lifting away from the area.  We are still expecting a 90% chance of rain today and Sunday,  but right now dry and sun and getting  ready to go for a run.  : )
Hopefully the weather will stay dry through Sunday for the Benefit/Fundraising Party at Skinny Legs in Coral Bay. We are raising funds to help defray the costs of educational training for one of our firefighters...Wendy Davis..to pursue certification as a Paramedic. She would then be the ONLY paramedic on St John ! It should be a fun event as it's theme is based on the game shows Let's Make a Deal, The Price is Right and Win it in a Minute. Tee Hee !
 Have a dry day (hopefully)  : )

- hmmmm
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2010 19:46:25 -0400
Hey all,
What's up with this rain..etc...radar and some other 'sources' showed  clear skies..and ' fair conditins" ..NOT...There is alot of activity coming from the East and there is stuff going on in the West/South.. from South America..  Invest 93 seems to be heading towards Haiti and later towards the Gulf of Mexico.. not good.. Hope it stalls and changes..
The ITCZ has not shifted very far North  and there is much activity along the this area...
St John Carnival is getting into full gear here..Queen contest, Princess contest..Music..Food Festival coming up!!!!  Enjoy  : )

- storm gone
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Sat, 19 Jun 2010 17:12:02 -0400
Hey all,
No rain now  for a few hours..only light showers in Cruz Bay..and some gentle wind..   AND brightening sky.. Radar also looks like we're  mostly done...Beach day tomorrow...?  Hubby decided it was a good day to clean/scrape the bottom of the JY-15 sailboat...

- Tropical wave moving through
  • By crabbys at earthlink.net
  • Date: Sat, 19 Jun 2010 11:07:03 -0400 (EDT)
Heavy rain and thunderstorms during the overnight and so far this a.m.; wind 
gusts near 40 mph in some spots. The wind continues to whistle and rain is 
coming, off and on.  

During a break in the storm, birds came out to feed.  When things turned bad 
again, one of our former rehab doves took temporary refuge on top of our 
shutter in a protected spot as the wind was whipped her feathers.  Here are 
several shots of Coral Harbor during various parts of the wave. 

Attachment: DSCF4115.JPG
Description: JPEG image

Attachment: DSCF4103.JPG
Description: JPEG image

- WET !!!
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Sat, 19 Jun 2010 09:49:47 -0400
Good day all,
St John has been getting some good rain, coming in waves, since last night.  The wind has actually died down for now as has the rain. It's still quite dark out there and we expect to have this kind of weather until Sunday.  I'm going to be optimistic and believe that we will has sun this weekend.   The roof has sprung a few new leaks which I discovered as I slipped across the floor   : )    Watch the roads for rock slides especially on Centerline rd !
The Festival/Carnival Bike race has been canceled for today due to the weather...it's a smart move so no one gets hurt.  Yup it's St John Carnival time again...all the way until July 5th.
Stay dry!!!

- Rain Daze
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Sat, 29 May 2010 07:36:05 -0400
Good morning all and Happy Memorial Day weekend to the US islands !
This am in Cruz Bay : temp around 80 and sort of sun peeking out of clouds to the East but dark looking towards St Croix. The heavy rain system that was supposed to come ..slid off to the Southeast of us.  We actually had some hazy sun in the sfternoon and were able to get to Gibney beach for a quick dip in the blue  :  ) And then later to La Tapa for a Birthday dinner for the  'main squeeze'  and then the Boston Celtics won their game as an extra B'day present for the B'day boy ! Oh..by the way..did anyone feel or hear the Earthquake ?
So today looks like there may be some rain..or maybe not...go for a run before Bootcamp...if there is Bootcamp...decisions, decisions.. Sunday morning is the Annual Beach-to-Beach Power swim to benefit the Friends of the National Park ...hopefully the weather will co-opperate !
Have a great day !!!

- Sun-daze
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Sun, 23 May 2010 09:21:18 -0400
Good morning all
BUSY day on St John yesterday...Morning  'power' hike up to  Caneel Hill  overlook.. Hot and no breeze until reaching the top...very hazy when  looking across to Jost and Tortola and the water was very flat.  It felt like July !
Back in town,  there was a Coast Guard /safety/emergency training session taking place in Cruz Bay harbor.. Folks had to move their boats out of the harbor for this training session and they received notice to do this only hours before the training began !!! Talk about scrambling. The training included boats and helicopters and 'drunken' boaters and fire trucks...There were also informational booths set up and of course, there were food and beverage tables as well  !
Later that afternoon, the St John School of the Arts had their recital at the Westin Ballroom.  A really great show..the  little kids did were so cute and older ones performed beautifully. Great afternoon....Then later that day was the annual Wagapaloza show...a dog/pet show and benefit to raise money for the Animal Care Center of St John...a VERY worthwhile organization to donate to.  A great turn-out !!!   Whew   :  )
Today...the temp is allready 85 here in Cruz Bay with hazy sunshine and no breeze...the cats are 'melting' on the coolish floor.      We also have an Invest about 200 miles North of PR.. An Invest is a weather system that has been recognized by organizations like NHC ,NOAA etc as a system worth gathering data on and developing computer models on.. It does not mean that the system will develop in to a depression or worse it ...an Invest is a system of interest for potential development....so ..the season begins a little early.
Enjoy your Sunday !

- happy 'hump-day'
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Wed, 19 May 2010 08:41:19 -0400
Greetings from STJ
Very changeable weather here these past few days...morning showers and down pours...then sun then rain..sometimes just over the water between STJ and STCX and then completely missing Cruz Bay..or just lingering over the North Shore...Right now it's cloudy/sunny and warm 83...Everything that is green is...well..really green !!!  The Watapama trees are blooming along North Shore Road and the Flamboyant trees are beginning to flower and leaf -out.    When the Flamboyant trees fill-out it changes my formerly full-sun gardens/boarder into full-shade ! SO....many of my plants need to be mobile and 'live' in containers...ahhh gardening in the Caribbean.
As has been mentioned...the water is VERY warm and it looks like activity along the ITCZ is beginning to heat up also...STJ and STT have been experiencing several small 2.6-3.3 tremors over the past few days...just enough to make you think...did I feel that   .  )  Okay...off to teach Bootcamp class !
Have a great day  :  )  ( I need those Emoticons)

- 1st May Monday
  • By "Val Donaghue" <lowcalval at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 07:39:16 -0400
Hello all,
Hope everyone had a good weekend...and those who participated in St. Thomas Carnival...survived  : )
Dark, gloomy damp here on St John on Sunday. Incredibly dark in the a.m. with heavy bursts of rain and some thunder and lightning.  On large bolt was so close to the house you could almost feel the electicity...really...and scary....then the clap of thunder was so loud and deep it shook the house...YIKES..
The rain continued and it was decided that a spontaneous drive to Coral Bay was in order.  A quick stop at Aqua Bistro for a cool beverage and then lunch at Island Blues before driving back to town as the sun was beginning to make an appearance.
More showers last night and a few heavy ones early this a.m.  and...of COURSE I left the windows to the Suzuki open  (boo hoo) soggy seats !!!
Have a great day !

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