At VIFreepBreaking NewsBusiness NewsConsumer NewsEnvironmental NewsGovernment House NewsIrregularitiesSt. Croix NewsSt. John NewsSt. Thomas NewsTechnology NewsTerritorial Affairs

WEEKLY WAPA UPDATE: Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority Says That It Is Doing Its Best To Re-Connect You To Electricity By Christmas … But Is It 2017 or 2018?

CHRISTIANSTED — Speaking at a news conference hosted by Acting Governor Osbert Potter this week, Executive Director Julio Rhymer, Sr. thanked WAPA’s employees, along with the on and off-island contractors, and the public who continue to support the ongoing restoration of electrical service across the territory.

Rhymer reported that the build-out of primary circuits is essentially complete and approximately 4o percent of customers in the territory have been restored.

The number of restored customers is in excess of 19,000. Rhymer also said additional linemen arrived on St. Croix Wednesday from Ocala, Tallahassee and South Carolina to augment the restoration work.

In a broad overview of the restoration on St. Croix, Rhymer said crews were working late Wednesday to restore service to residents at the Aureo Diaz housing community.

Service was restored to customers in Estates Welcome, Solitude, Peter’s Rest and from Barren Spot to La Reine. The UVI campus was also restored, as well as the Cruzan Rum distillery and homes in Mount Pleasant, all along Centerline Road.

On St. Thomas, service was restored to customers in Fortuna, Hull Bay, Agnes Fancy, Altona, Savan, Anna’s Retreat and Bolongo. Some residents in Frenchtown were restored on Tuesday evening and the majority of that community will be restored within one week. Service was also restored to businesses on Harwood Highway from MSI to just outside the entrance to Subbase. Primary lines have been strung in Old Tutu up to the McBean ball park as well as in Estate Mafolie. Electrical service to approximately 75 percent of the 115 customers on Water Island has been restored. Work on reconstructing the Ridge Road Feeder continues with a portion of the primary circuits already energized.

On St. John, efforts are progressing to complete the build out of primary circuits toward Coral Bay and should be completed by the weekend. Crews are also working to restore service in Fish Bay, Estate Adrian, Glucksberg, and at residences in George Simmonds Terrace.

ELECTRIC SYSTEM NOTES

• Through an agreement reached with the Department of Planning & Natural Resources, WAPA will restore electrical service to homes with temporary roofs (blue roofs) once a licensed electrician has certified, in writing, that the structure is safe to energize.

• Customers and electricians are reminded that it is against the law to remove or otherwise destroy meter seals. If work needs to be done to repair a damaged meter base and/or weather head, customers must call the Emergency Call Center at (340) 774-1424 on St. Thomas-St. John or (340) 773-0150 on St. Croix. The call centers operate seven days a week, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

• If your electric meter was removed by WAPA personnel to facilitate repairs to either a meter base and/or weather head, once repairs are completed and a licensed electrician certifies the work in writing, customers are required to contact the Customer Service office to ensure that the meter will be reinstalled and resealed prior to the restoration of electrical service. All fees usually associated with meter removal and reconnection have been waived. Customer service offices are operating Monday-Friday, 9 am – 4 pm at Sunny Isle on St. Croix and Port of Sale Mall on St. Thomas.

• Reconstruction, restoration and hurricane debris removal crews are deployed across the islands. Motorists are asked to exercise caution when driving through the work areas and to heed the directions of flaggers and VIPD officers who are assisting with traffic control.

• WAPA urges residents to shut off standby generators when line crews are in your neighborhood restoring electrical service. A standby generator has the potential to back feed electricity to the grid which poses a severe safety risk to restoration crews.

POTABLE WATER SYSTEM

• There are seven days of emergency water storage on St. John, eight days on St. Thomas, and five days on St. Croix.

• WAPA urges clean-up contractors and homeowners in both districts to exercise caution when piling debris on and around potable water meters. There are a growing number of instances where water meters are being damaged by clean-up equipment grading debris and causing damage to the roadside water meters. The continued damage by heavy equipment poses difficulty in maintaining or restoring potable water service to customers.

It is the stated position of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) that they are doing their level best to connect every person and business in the territory as quickly as possible.

Here is an update from the Friday timeline:

HURRICANE RESTORATION UPDATE

ELECTRIC SYSTEM

• WAPA has identified areas in which crews will focus reconstruction and restoration work throughout the next week. The crews include WAPA Line Department personnel as well as on and off-island contractors.

• On St. Thomas, these areas include: Nazareth, Smith Bay, Coki Point, Cassi Hill, Anna’s Retreat toward Tutu Valley, Bordeaux, Crown Mountain and from the Four Corners intersection toward Mountain Top.

• On St. John, crews will continue restoration work from Coral Bay toward George Simmonds Terrace.

• On St. Croix, work will be focused in Catherine’s Rest, La Reine, Strawberry, White Bay, White Lady, William’s Delight, the container port, La Grande Princesse toward Morning Star, Divi Carina Bay Resort and the south shore. Crews will also be deployed to the rainforest area where there is extensive work including tree trimming and electrical system reconstruction.

• Additional manpower has arrived in both districts to augment the restoration, and another shipment of supplies, materials and equipment is en route to the territory.

• On Friday, crews in both districts reported continued progress with the restoration effort.

o On St. Croix, commercial customers were restored including Wendy’s, Business World, Mc Donald’s in La Reine, the Cotton Valley Fire Station and the Pelican Cove Condos. Both reconstruction and restoration work continued in residential areas including La Grande Princesse, White Bay, White Lady, Paradise and Hermon Hill.

o On St. Thomas, work continued in Mandahl, Anna’s Retreat toward Tutu Valley, Smith Bay, Coki Point, Red Hook, and Mariendahl. Additional customers were energized on Water Island as well as in Bordeaux, Santa Maria, Caret Bay, Crown Mountain, Scott Free, Savan and Frenchman’s Bay. Reconstruction work, including the planting of poles and stringing lines, continues on Feeder 8B toward Peterborg, and on Feeder 10A from Subbase along Harwood Highway toward Cancryn Junior High School.

o On St. John, crews continue to work in Coral Bay readying circuits for restoration of customers.

• Through an agreement reached with the Department of Planning & Natural Resources, WAPA will restore electrical service to homes with temporary roofs (blue roofs) once a licensed electrician has certified, in writing, that the structure is safe to energize.

• Customers and electricians are reminded that it is against the law to remove or otherwise destroy meter seals. If work needs to be done to repair a damaged meter base and/or weather head, customers must call the Emergency Call Center at 340-774-1424 on St. Thomas-St. John or 340-773-0150 on St. Croix. The call centers operate seven days a week, 9 am – 5 pm.

• If your electric meter was removed by WAPA personnel to facilitate repairs to either a meter base and/or weather head, once repairs are completed and a licensed electrician certifies the work in writing, customers are required to contact the Customer Service office. All fees usually associated with meter removal and reconnection have been waived during this restoration period. Customer service offices operate Monday-Friday, 9 am – 4 pm at Sunny Isle on St. Croix and Port of Sale Mall on St. Thomas.

• Reconstruction, restoration and hurricane debris removal crews are deployed across the islands. Motorists are asked to exercise caution when driving through the work areas and to heed the directions of flaggers and VIPD officers who are assisting with traffic control.

• WAPA urges residents to shut off standby generators when line crews are in your neighborhood restoring electrical service. A standby generator has the potential to back feed electricity to the grid which poses a severe safety risk to restoration crews.

POTABLE WATER SYSTEM

• There are six days of emergency water storage on St. John, eight days on St. Thomas, and five days on St. Croix.

• WAPA urges clean-up contractors and homeowners in both districts to exercise caution when piling debris on and around potable water meters. There are a growing number of instances where water meters are being damaged by clean-up equipment grading debris and causing damage to the roadside water meters. The continued damage by heavy equipment poses difficulty in maintaining or restoring potable water service to customers.

OTHER INFORMATION

• WAPA telephone contact: St. Thomas – St. John district, 340-774-3552; St. Croix district, 340-773-2250

• Customer Service Offices operate Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Sunny Isle on St. Croix and at Port of Sale Mall on St. Thomas.

• The latest information on the restoration effort is available on the WAPA website, www.viwapa.vi and on Facebook: Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority.

 

Previous post

PAHO Supports Health Sector Recovery Efforts in the BVI ... Where They Will Fog And Kill Mosquitoes Rather Than Trying To Capture and Rehabilitate Them As In The USVI

Next post

YET ANOTHER ST. CROIX BUSINESS CALLS IT QUITS: Orbitel Jumps Out of the Local Internet Market ... Virgin Islands Powerhouse Viya Expected To Benefit From The Loss

The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1989. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *