Published: August 24, 2012
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ST. CROIX - Dark clouds were hanging over the island at sunrise Thursday morning, as Tropical Storm Isaac made small strides closer to St. Croix's southern side. Soon, the entire sky turned gray and the winds picked up, an indication that the storm had arrived.
It never developed much beyond that.
While the effects of the storm were far less that what residents and forecasters initially had expected, they were enough to topple a few trees and cause power outages.
Marvin Walcott was standing in the bed of his truck throwing out banana trees that he said were blown down by the storm.
"It was not a bad storm, but it gave me some work to do," he said.
Just one of several people who dumped green waste in a pile on Thursday, Walcott said he already had made one trip to the trash pile and had at least one more to go.
"The ground was soft around the trees, so with the bit of rain and wind we had between last night and this morning, they did not last," he said.
Even as Isaac passed by the territory south of St. Croix, supermarkets were busy with residents picking up post-storm supplies and food.
Sharney Bideaux said she had power at her home but no cable television, so she went to buy ice cream and other snacks for her sons and a new book for her daughter.
"I just wanted to go to sleep in this windy weather, but the children were getting bored." She said.
Bideaux said she had stocked up on water and hurricane supplies in preparation for the storm, but because the situation was not serious she decided to make another trip to the store.
"We were spared from the storm. I heard it shifted," she said. "We should all be grateful for that."
Traffic on the road Thursday was light, with an occasional police car or a truck from the V.I. Public Works Department or the V.I. Water and Power Authority vehicle passing by.
Some guts, clogged with debris, spilled into the road.
As rolling blackouts moved around the island, different traffic signals were affected. Some, like the one at the intersection of the University of the Virgin Islands, flashed yellow in one direction and red in the other, while others, including the lights at Bassin Triangle, Villa La Reine, Mon Bijou and Hannah's Rest were not functioning at all, causing motorists to proceed with caution.
Rain showers were scattered, but when the rain fell, it fell heavily and was driven by wind, lowering visibility to just a few feet.
At Mount Welcome, a small WAPA crew blocked one lane of traffic to clear overgrown limbs from power lines. One crew member worked more than 30 feet up in the air in a bucket truck, chopping away with a machete as the rain fell. Workers on the ground quickly gathered the falling debris to maintain a smooth flow of the sparse traffic.
Less than a mile away from the WAPA crew, about 100 people gathered at Altona Lagoon for fun and frolic.
Macho Serrano was with his sons and other young people jumping from the dock at the fisherman's ramp. Serrano said it was hot at home, so they drove out to the beach to enjoy the day with no sun.
"The water is nice and warm, even though it's raining," he said. "We have been out here for a few hours. We may stay till the sun goes down."
Across the street, more than a dozen fishermen lined the bank to cast their nets, at times, coming up with dozens of fish in one haul.
Something about the stormy weather gets the fish moving, Serrano said.
As Isaac moved toward Puerto Rico, the waters around the island remained relatively calm, lightly lapping against the pier in Frederiksted and rolling gently in Christiansted.
Between 2 and 5 p.m. the rain fell steadily, and no injuries were reported to police as a result of the storm.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email email@example.com.