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Adverse Weather Challenges Enhance Commitment to Safely Restore Feeder 13

Jun 06, 2024

U.S. Virgin Islands - The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (“WAPA” or “Authority”) announces an update regarding the ongoing efforts to safely repair the fault in the underground section of Feeder 13, impacting customers in the St. Thomas/St. John district.

Due to a severe weather forecast, including a flash flood warning and significant lightning activity, WAPA temporarily halted the restoration work late afternoon yesterday to ensure the safety of our personnel and contractors. The extreme weather conditions present heightened risks that prevent safe access and repair efforts in the underground infrastructure.

Unlike overhead power lines that can be seen on poles, underground feeders are hidden from view, making them less vulnerable to weather conditions and accidental damage. They are used to deliver power safely and efficiently without cluttering the landscape with wires. Though there are many benefits to underground infrastructure, locating and accessing underground feeders for maintenance or repairs is often difficult and time-consuming. Additionally, these systems are more susceptible to flooding and degradation over time due to soil conditions, moisture, and temperature fluctuations, leading to complicated repairs.

Despite the current challenges, Crews have located the fault between Moe’s on Waterfront and the overhead riser by Jarvis Annex in Charlotte Amalie. Since the initial trip of Feeder 13 on Tuesday at approximately 5:00pm, Crews have been diligently working to isolate and test the cables to find the exact location of the cause. As weather conditions allow a safe work environment, efforts to repair the fault will resume.

For information on the active rotational outage schedule and/or other general updates on restoration efforts, please sign up for WAPA Alerts that can be found at https://www.viwapa.vi/news-information/advisory-details. Additional updates from the Communications department will be provided regularly via our WAPA alerts system, the website, radio and Government Access Channel public service announcements, and social media channels.