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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, April 18, 2024
HomeCommentaryOp-edWe are Rebuilding After Hurricanes Irma and Maria - A message from...

We are Rebuilding After Hurricanes Irma and Maria – A message from V.I. Water and Power Authority Executive Director Julio Rhymer

Twenty-six days ago, Hurricane Irma struck the Virgin Islands, and just under two weeks ago, Hurricane Maria did the same. The two major hurricanes have left indelible marks on all our lives, but there is much for which we are thankful. The hope for a brighter tomorrow evokes confidence that as a people we will recover, rebuild and restore. While each resident of the Virgin Islands works to rebuild their lives, I would like to assure you of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority’s commitment to rebuild our electrical and potable water systems. WAPA will do its part each day to safely expedite the recovery of the Virgin Islands, while reconstructing a more hardened system with more resiliency.

Our restoration efforts began right after the passage of each storm, as WAPA energized critical facilities within our Virgin Islands community. Our Line Department personnel and on-island contractors have been hard at work since September 7, restoring service to our customers. Since Hurricane Maria struck on September 19, additional manpower and resources have arrived in the territory to aid in the recovery, and more help is on the way. While this will be a lengthy, and at times, tedious process, our efforts will be unceasing until every neighborhood in our Virgin Islands community has been restored.

History shows WAPA standing shoulder to shoulder with the people of the Virgin Islands in recovering from past catastrophic hurricanes. The recovery from Hurricanes Irma and Maria will be no different. Together, we will recover, rebuild and restore.

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  1. I suppose this essay is meant to instill hope and confidence, but what I really feel is dread and fear that once power is restored, it will be the same old same old. Increasing rates, frequent power outages at the most inconvenient times, and the same old excuses using the same old methods to generate power. The debacle of the propane conversion/scam stills angers me. And the vendetta that Wapa has against alternative energy users is shameful as well. Not hopeful for VI energy future at all.

  2. Good Afternoon Mr. Rhymer,
    Thank you for the statement that you have provided. What we, as Virgin Islanders would like to see is a plan to put all utilities underground so that when the next hurricane comes through in 30 years or 30 weeks from now the recovery will be much quicker, the roads won’t be blocked by downed poles and power and phone lines strewn everywhere. As proven by Irma, the locations already served by underground utilities were quickly restored. We freverently hope that WAPA, VIYA, VIGN, and any other agency can put aside differences and implement a plan before the next catastrophe. This is the press release we are all looking forward to.