HURRICANE RESTORATION UPDATE ELECTRIC SYSTEM
- The first wave of off-island linemen contracted by WAPA to aid in its electrical restoration have begun to arrive in the territory. Some 260 linemen and engineers will be in the Virgin Islands by Sunday, another 150 by Oct. 27, and an additional 100 linemen by Nov. 3. They are joining crews from the Western Area Power Administration who have been here for several weeks. The off-island crews will be equally divided between the St. Thomas-St. John and St. Croix districts.
- The authority has contracted with debris removal crews to clean up fallen lines, poles, transformers and other utility-owned hurricane debris. The crews are assigned in each district.
- On St. Croix, Friday, Oct. 13, line crews continued to work on a double circuit from the Richmond Power Plant along Feeder 6A to Five Corners and Feeder 6B to Mill Harbor. Some poles were planted on Feeder 1A, which serves the downtown Christiansted area, and along Feeder 8B on Queen Mary Highway. Crews made steady progress on another portion of Feeder 8B, preparing a circuit that runs through the Hannah’s Rest intersection, for service restoration. Debris removal crews cleaned up areas around Bassin Triangle and Golden Rock. Those crews will then focus on ridding various public-school campuses of downed lines, transformers and broken poles.
- On St. John, line crews continued to prepare areas in Cruz Bay for service restoration. Once electrical service has been restored to the WAPA East End Substation near the armory in Nazareth, portions of Cruz Bay can then be energized. Daily work on St. John involves completing the service path from Cruz Bay through Estate Pastory to the Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center.
- On St. Thomas, crews continued work in Lindbergh Bay area toward Gladys Abraham Elementary School on the middle road in Estate Thomas and on a portion of Feeder 10A extending into Frenchtown.
- WAPA is advising residents that it is necessary to shut off standby generators when line crews are in their neighborhood restoring electrical service. A standby generator has the potential to back feed electricity to the grid. which poses a severe safety risk to restoration crews.
- Residents are asked to refrain from cutting damaged or toppled poles. Poles that were damaged must remain in place to allow WAPA to properly document the damage when replacement poles are planted. Once poles are cut or removed by residents, WAPA is unable to seek reimbursement for the damaged pole.
POTABLE WATER SYSTEM
- WAPA reminds the public that a precautionary boil water notice for potable water customers is in place territory-wide. Due to a drop in water pressure, as a precaution, WAPA advises that all water used for drinking, cooking, making infant formula or juices, making ice, brushing teeth, washing fruits or vegetables and washing dishes be boiled. Bringing water to a rolling boil and maintaining for one full minute is sufficient. Water must be adequately cooled before it can be used and should be stored in clean, covered containers. As an alternative, bottled water certified for sale by the Department of Health may be used.
- There are three days of water storage on St. John, six days on St. Thomas and five days on St. Croix.
- On St. Croix, the Concordia pump station remains off line awaiting equipment repair that should be completed on Saturday. Temporary electrical service was brought to the pump station but later failed. As a result, low to no water pressure will be experienced by customers from mid-island to Frederiksted this weekend.
- On St. Thomas, the Savan Pump Station at Vester Gade was restored. Efforts continue to bring temporary electrical service to the Contant Pump Station. Once electrical service is established, potable water service will be restored to Contant and the surrounding areas, including the Contant Knolls housing community.
- All electrical problems must be reported to the WAPA Emergency Call Centers to be properly documented and tracked. These problems include, but are not limited to, electrical service interruptions as well as damaged and downed facilities such as poles, transformers and power lines. The WAPA Call Centers are operating on a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days per week. Call St. Thomas-St. John: 774-1424 or St. Croix: 773-0150.
* The authority’s Customer Service Offices are functioning in both districts. On St. Croix, customers can conduct business at WAPA’s offices in Sunny Isle. In the St. Thomas-St. John district, a temporary customer service location has been established at WAPA’s offices in Port of Sale Mall. In both districts, customer service representatives are available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Self-service payment kiosks are also available at both locations during these hours.
- WAPA’s office telephones are operational in both districts. Call St. Croix: 773-2250 or St. Thomas-St. John: 774-3552.
- Restoration updates are available both on the WAPA website: www.viwapa.vi and on Facebook, Virgin Islands Water & Power Authority.