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WAPA Pats Itself on Back For Outing Fire Near Substation That Left St. John Without Power For 24 Hours

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FRANK BAY — The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) said its personnel successfully restored electrical service to customers on St. John, twenty-four hours after a power transformer immediately outside of WAPA’s electrical substation caught fire, resulting in the island being left without electrical service.

The restoration of service followed a daylong effort to ensure that, although smoke had entered the substation, there was no damage to equipment that would have prevented service from being restored.

WAPA said crews worked throughout the day to clean electrical equipment of soot and residue while preparing the substation to be energized. By 6 p.m. Thursday evening, procedures were underway to re-energize the submarine cables that provide electrical service from St. Thomas to St. John, and restoring the substation. The island’s two feeders, 7E and 9E, were then restored bringing electrical service to residents across the island.

“Once again, I thank the community of St. John for their patience in the aftermath of last night’s transformer fire which prevented WAPA from immediately restoring service,” said Executive Director Lawrence Kupfer. “I also thank the men and women of WAPA, many of whom worked into the early morning hours of today, and returned a few hours later to begin the process of assessing any damage to the substation, making repairs, and finalizing preparations to restore our customers. The efforts of these employees and the plant personnel who recovered from a district-wide service interruption on Wednesday are appreciated by me, their colleagues at the authority, and our Virgin Islands community.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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