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Several Factors Caused Heavy Rain and Power Outage

July 20, 2005 –– A combination of factors caused Mother Nature to dump rain across the Virgin Islands starting Tuesday morning, but look for some clearing later Wednesday afternoon or evening, Brad Diehl, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, said at 7 a.m. Wednesday.
However, the lightening that accompanied the rain hit a transformer at the V.I. Water and Power Authority's plant at Krum Bay. It happened at 9:23 a.m. Tuesday.
"It hit a bus tie transformer," chief operating officer Glenn Rothgeb said.
He said this transformer reduces the power created by the plant to normal distribution levels.
Rothgeb said the lightening strike didn't cause any damage.
"It just tripped the unit," he said.
He said crews had to make sure it was safe to operate. He said power was back on by about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday except for the feeders that supply power to Charlotte Amalie and the north and west sides of the islands. He said WAPA restored power to those areas by noon.
Rothgeb said WAPA had some minor problems when wind and rain blew through early Wednesday morning. He said there were a few homes that lost power and were still out early Wednesday.
"Just isolated cases," he said.
Diehl said an upper level trough now over Jamaica met up with a fairly active tropical wave passing through the region to cause the bad weather.
"The two of them together had the potential for heavy rainfall," he said.
He said the weather started moving into the area Tuesday morning.
Diehl said dryer air moving into the area Wednesday will help end the wet weather.
He said that between 8 p.m. Tuesday and 7 a.m. Wednesday, three and a half to four inches of rain fell at Turpentine Run on St. Thomas.
Diehl said Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas experienced a wind gust of 25 mph at 1 a.m. Wednesday.
As for what's ahead weather wise, Diehl said there are currently no vigorous tropical waves that could develop into a hurricane on the horizon.
"For the moment," he said.

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