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Charlotte Amalie
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HomeNewsArchivesIslands' Utilities 'Back in Business,' WAPA Says

Islands' Utilities 'Back in Business,' WAPA Says

Sept. 20, 2004 – St. Croix is almost totally back in business after Tropical Storm Jeanne played havoc with the territory's power sources last week, Alberto Bruno-Vega, V. I. Water and Power Authority executive director, said Monday at a board meeting.
St. Croix was the hardest hit from the storm as it passed about 40 miles south of the island. St. Thomas and St. John had minimal power interruptions, he said
Bruno-Vega had a novel name for the utility's restoration efforts: "We have established a 'Leave no customer behind' policy," he said. "We need the assistance of the customers, themselves, because WAPA has no way of knowing if an individual customer is still without power when an area is restored."
He said customers have called to say they have no power, when actually power has been restored, but the customer has not turned on his breaker box. "We are picking up calls from individual customers now," he said.
Restoration efforts on St. Croix have gone well, he said, after initial problems caused by the high winds. Bruno-Vega said equipment, including bucket-trucks, and personnel were brought from St. Thomas to help.
The WAPA crews worked into the night "In fact, people were happily surprised to see a bucket-truck at 1 a.m. working on their power poles," he said.
Bruno-Vega spoke from first-hand experience. He spent Tuesday night when the storm hit at the Carambola Hotel, which was itself without power.
He had good news for St. Thomas, as well. "A positive development in the storm was that the Krum Bay plant behaved beautifully," he said. The plant has been uncooperative in the past, notably with Unit 22; a fact well known to St. Thomas power customers.
In other matters, Bruno-Vega said St. John's main water tank will be upgraded. He said it was in need of repair, anyway, so WAPA decided to increase its capacity from 500,000 gallons to half that again – 750,000 gallons. He did not give a date for the repair.
Attending the meeting were board members Roy Anduze, Alphonso Franklin, Ira Hobson, Chairman Daryl Lynch, Cheryl Boynes-Jackson and Yolander Samuel-Deterville. Claude "Tappy" Molloy was off-island.

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