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WAPA Crews Make Substantial Restoration

(Saturday, October 25, 2008)

Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority line crews made substantial progress over the weekend in restoring power to both the northwest and southeast portions of St. Croix as Hurricane Omar restoration efforts continued. Line crews also energized many of the “pockets” or small sections of main feeders that were without power due to various problems including blown fuses, damaged transformers, broken poles, and fallen lines.

Crews will continue work on Monday in areas throughout St. Croix that have presented challenging problems because of heavy debris or hard to reach connections. Customers should ensure that their damaged weatherheads have been repaired and ready to accept connection. Weatherhead repairs must be verified by a certified electrician or an inspector from the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources before reconnection can be made. Customers are asked to assist line crews in the restoration efforts by chaining dogs, unlocking fences to allow access, and moving cars that are parked in areas that present obstacles to repair trucks.

At this point, WAPA has restored approximately 94-95% of the daily electric load to its grid. Additional bucket trucks and crews arrived over the weekend to lend additional support to the effort. WAPA has set a goal of another week to ten days to complete restoration to the entire island. Customers are reminded to avoid downed power lines and to turn off circuit breakers while waiting for power to be restored in order to protect appliances and electronic equipment.

Water customers in Mon Bijou and Glynn are presently experiencing a water service interruption due to low storage levels. Power supply to WAPA well fields was unavailable until Saturday and lines must be flushed of possible impurities for at least 48 hours and water samples tested for purity before water service can be restored to customers. Customers in Mon Bijou and Glynn can possibly expect service by late Monday or by Tuesday morning.

Questions about water or power can still be directed to the Emergency Call Center at 713-9272 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Callers can dial 773-0150 after 8 p.m. to report problems.

WAPA appreciates the patience of its customers and vows to continue work non-stop until every customer has been restored.