Press Release Details

WAPA Completes Post-Karen Restoration Work Territory-Wide

Sep 27, 2019


The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority
Corporate Communications
Contact: Jean P. Greaux, Jr., Director of Corporate Communications
340-774-3552 extension 2147 or 340-244-7330
communications@viwapa.vi / www.viwapa.vi


September 27, 2019



          Line department personnel of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority Thursday completed post-Karen service restoration at isolated areas across the territory.  Crews have been deployed since Tuesday night to more than 60 reports of isolated service interruptions.

          “Once all main feeders were fully energized, our line department personnel and electrical engineers began to address the pocket outages reported by our customers. They ranged from downed lines, to blown fuses, irregular voltage, and malfunctioning transformers,” said Executive Director Lawrence J. Kupfer. The crews, which worked through the day and night Wednesday, initially addressed the trouble calls which yielded greater numbers of restored customers, leaving the more complex service interruptions for the end of the restoration period. Kupfer said with the exception of a district-wide service interruption on Tuesday morning that has been linked to a faulty lightning arrestor, the power plants functioned without interruption through the approach and passage of Tropical Storm Karen.

          Kupfer thanked the men and women of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority who worked in planning for the anticipated impact of Tropical Storm Karen, those who worked through the storm’s at the two power plants, those who pulled overnight shifts at the VITEMA emergency operations centers, and the line department personnel who worked tirelessly from the moment the storm’s winds abated until the last customer was restored with service. “All of the work was done safely and efficiently, without incident,” he said.

          Hurricane season preparedness continues to be a year-round effort at WAPA, Kupfer added, noting that the use of an incident command system has streamlined the processes by which WAPA gathers outage information, and facilitates the restoration of service in a storm event. The system also affords WAPA a standardized approach to the command, control and coordination of emergency response. “Our employees have been briefed on the system and we have seen the effectiveness of the ICS in our coordinated response to not only storms but other emergency incidents.”

          “Again, my thanks to our employees for their untiring efforts, and to our customers and the general public for their understanding and cooperation as we worked to maintain, and later restore electrical service during the storm event,” Kupfer said.


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The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority is an autonomous agency of the Virgin Islands Government which produces and distributes electricity and drinking water to residential and commercial customers in the territory. WAPA was created by the Fifth Legislature of the Virgin Islands in 1964 through Act No. 1248. Today, WAPA generates electrical power at production plants on St. Thomas and St. Croix, and distributes electrical service through smart grids to customers on St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John, Hassel Island, and Water Island. Potable water is distributed to almost 13,000 customers through water lines and standpipes. WAPA also has the responsibility of installing and maintaining street lights.