Power was restored to St. Croix’s final two feeders at 10 p.m. Saturday evening after a daylong power outage that, among other things, darkened the Juan F. Luis Memorial Hospital.
In a news release at 8 p.m. the Water and Power Authority said it had restored electricity to all but two of the feeders, and expected to have them online shortly.
None of the 62 patients at the hospital were in danger during the outage, Gov. Kenneth Mapp said after inspecting the hospital.
Power went out on St. Croix early Saturday when a bus system that distributes powers to the feeders, plunging the island into darkness.
In a statement issued Saturday evening, Mapp said he had been contacted by WAPA CEO Hugo Hodge Jr. at about 10 a.m. to appraise him of the situation and the utility’s efforts to fix the problem. A short time later, he said, Dr. Kendall Griffith, CEO of the Juan F, Luis Hospital, contacted the governor to report that the hospital’s generator had failed.
According to the governor, the hospital had mobilized a medical team to ensure patient safety. Mapp, who started the day on St. Thomas, flew to St. Croix to inspect the situation, and met with JFL’s senior management team.
Of immediate concern were three patients in the intensive care unit. All were stable, the governor said, and the life-support equipment’s UPS (uninterrupted power supply) systems were functioning.
The emergency room also was stable, he said, and there was no need to evacuate patients.
The hospital staff along with private electrical contractors and WAPA support were able to get the generator running by 4 p.m., Mapp said.
Mapp then went to the Estate Richmond power plant to learn of progress there.
He emphasized that the problem had not been in the generating equipment, but in the bus system that distributes the power to the feeders. WAPA’s crews had taken care to preserve the generating capacity on the island, he said.
"I would caution that, at worst, we may face rotating power throughout the evening," he said, adding that he expected power to be completely restored.
WAPA’s statement said generating units 16 and 19 and feeders 1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 had been brought on line by 8 p.m. The two remaining feeders, 2 and 3, were restored by about 10 p.m.
Editor’s note: This story was updated to include the restoration of power to the final two feeders.