Tropical Storm Laura’s winds caused electrical outages on a handful of St. Thomas feeders and one St. Croix feeder. The St. Thomas feeders have been restored but the St. Croix feeder remains out, according to an operational update issued by the V.I. Water and Power Authority at noon on Saturday.
On St. Croix, an electrical outage is reported on feeder 9B, and crews are currently making repairs in the Upper Love area. Crews found burned lines and damaged electrical equipment, and assessment is now underway.
The storm is located 132 miles west of St. Croix as of 11 a.m. Saturday and is moving at 18 miles per hour with sustained winds of 40 miles per hour with higher wind gusts. Sandy Point, St. Croix, has reported wind gusts of 41 miles per hour. Sustained tropical force winds are expected to continue through 3 p.m.
On St. Thomas, outages were reported on feeders 7E, 7A, and 9C.
Customers experiencing service interruptions on St. Thomas or St. John should call WAPA at 340-774-3552, and select option 4. Customers experiencing service interruptions on St. Croix should call WAPA at 340-773-2250, and select option 4.
According to the update issues by WAPA, “The electric grids will be impacted until winds subside. Gusty winds are causing primary service lines to make contact; there is also impact by vegetation overgrowth and by broken limbs and branches coming to rest on the lines. These incidents result in electrical faults. Once an electrical fault is detected, the protection schemes trip the feeder. Crews are then dispatched to assess the cause of the fault, make any required repairs, and restore service.”