Press Release Details

Pole Fire Contributed To District-Wide Electrical Service Interruption Sunday Night

May 24, 2021

Fire on Double-Circuit Pole in Subbase Resulted in Districtwide Electrical Service Interruption Sunday Night

Electrical service was restored to all customers in the St. Thomas - St. John district at approximately 9 p.m. Sunday following a district-wide service interruption.

The outage resulted from a pole fire which destroyed circuits associated with two electrical feeders, 7A and 8A, and sent an electrical surge back to the Randolph Harley Power Plant causing dispatched generators to trip.

The fire on the double-circuit pole in Subbase, just south of Nisky Shopping Center and north of Gramboko Hill, tripped the two feeders at 6:52 p.m. Sunday and approximately ten minutes later, the subsequent power surge began affecting plant operations.

While power plant personnel restarted the generators and rebuilt production capacity, line department crews worked to isolate the burned pole, which eventually snapped and toppled over. The isolation was required to reconfigure portions of the electric grid and enable restoration of all customers on Feeders 7A and 8A Sunday night. Restoration of electrical service to customers began at 7:55 p.m.

Electric system crews will return to the site of the compromised pole today to determine what factors may have contributed to the fire and begin the process of planting a new pole, replacing equipment and restoring the circuits of both feeders. Once completed, the electric grid will be returned to its normal configuration. The restoration work is not expected to affect electrical service.

Firefighters from the V.I. Fire Services assisted WAPA in extinguishing the pole fire last night.


A burned pole snapped and toppled Sunday night in Subbase. A double circuit for Feeders 7A & 8A and other electrical equipment were compromised in the pole fire. 


WAPA Line Supervisor Malvern Williams removes bridges to isolate a nearby burned double-circuit pole and facilitate service restoration to customers on Feeders 7A & 8A Sunday night.

# # #

>Download this Press Release in PDF format.