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Saturday, July 20, 2024
HomeNewsLocal governmentPower Restoration Delayed by Thieves Stealing Copper Wires

Power Restoration Delayed by Thieves Stealing Copper Wires


Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority

Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) personnel has removed electrical meters at locations where damage was apparent to either an electrical meter base and/or weather head. In these instances, the customer is responsible for all repairs. WAPA will not reinstall meters until repairs are made by a licensed electrician. Home and business owners are advised to make repairs to their damaged weather heads and or meter bases as soon as possible. Once crews have reached a neighborhood, customers who have not had their weather head or meter base repaired, will not have service immediately restored.

  • All electrical problems must be reported to the WAPA Emergency Call Centers to be properly documented and tracked. These problems include, but are not limited to, electrical service interruptions as well as damaged and downed facilities such as poles, transformers and power lines. The WAPA Call Centers are now operating 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days per week. Call St. Thomas-St. John: 774-1424 or St. Croix: 773-0150.
  • Restoration and reconstruction work continues in each district. The focus remains on reconstructing the backbone of the electrical system. The primary electrical circuits that are not currently energized must be reconstructed prior to service restoration to commercial or residential customers.
  • WAPA is advising residents that it is necessary to shut off standby generators when line crews are in a neighborhood restoring electrical service. A standby generator has the potential to back feed electricity to the grid which poses a severe safety risk for restoration crews.
  • WAPA is reminding the public that copper theft, even on damaged equipment, is against the law. The authority is experiencing an increase of instances of copper theft from transformers, poles, equipment and hardware that were toppled during the two hurricanes. Additionally, copper thieves are toppling transformers, which is an environmental hazard.
  • Residents are also asked to refrain from cutting damaged or toppled poles. Poles that were damaged must remain in place to allow WAPA to properly document the damage when replacement poles are planted. Once poles are cut or removed by residents, WAPA is unable to seek reimbursement for the damaged pole.
  • Customer service offices in both districts are functional. On St. Croix, customers can conduct business at the authority’s offices in Sunny Isle. In the St. Thomas-St. John District, a temporary customer service location has been established at WAPA’s offices in Port of Sale Mall. In both districts, customer service representatives are available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Also, self-service payment kiosks are available at both locations during these hours.
  • WAPA’s office telephones are operational in both districts. Call St. Croix: 773-2250 or St. Thomas-St. John: 340-774-3552.
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