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WAPA Crews to Assist with Anguilla Electrical Restoration

(Thursday, October 16, 2014)

The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority has responded to a request for assistance, from the Anguilla Electric Company Limited (ANGLEC), to help with electrical service restoration.  On Tuesday, October 14, WAPA Executive Director Hugo V. Hodge, Jr. received notification from David Gumbs, CEO of ANGLEC, through the organization of Caribbean Utilities (CARILEC’s) disaster restoration program.  Gumbs indicated that the island had received a direct hit from Tropical Storm Gonzalo and his crews would perform as assessment of their electrical system to notify Hodge if assistance would be needed.  On Wednesday, Oct. 15, ANGLEC put out the call for assistance.  “Although we only received the request on Wednesday, preparation began immediately,” said Hodge.  “We were able to pull together a crew, from both districts, of 10 men including linemen, an engineer tech and a line superintendent. This demonstrates our readiness to assist our fellow lineman brothers in their time of need,” Hodge said.

WAPA and ANGLEC are both members of CARILEC, as well as the Lineman Program.  In times of need, members of these organizations recognize the importance of prompt restoration, and are ready and willing to assist in the efforts. As the Vice Chairman of CARILEC, Hodge remains in contact with the directors of the CARILEC member utilities. “My fellow utility directors and I track the storms and check in with each other as they travel the island chain,” Hodge said.

“While the extent of damage to the island’s electrical system is still unknown, the linemen are prepared to do all they can to get the system back up and stable,” said Clinton Hedrington, WAPA’s director of Transmission and Distribution.  He said the men are prepared to do a lot of pole climbing, since they will not have bucket trucks at their disposal.

Before their departure on Thursday, the team was briefed by the Authority’s safety team and encouraged to do their best while keeping each other safe. The members of WAPA’s restoration team are: Crew Leader, Vincent Maynard, Rey Belardo Jr., Romeo Bergan, Gregory Creque, Shawn Dowe, Marcello Jacobs, Troy Lake, Mervin Prentice, Oscar Rolle and Malvern Williams.