WAPA Releases Hurricane Restoration Update for Nov. 6

Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority

HURRICANE RESTORATION UPDATE

At Gov. Mapp’s Monday night news conference, WAPA Executive Director Julio A. Rhymer Sr. provided a broad overview of the restoration work underway and that which is already completed.

o   On St. Croix, Rhymer spoke of plans to energize from Hannah’s Rest to Fisher Street and most of Frederiksted town this week. Work is continuing towards completing restoration work in Christiansted. He said areas including Golden Rock and Little Princesse have been energized with crews moving toward Estate Rattan. Other crews are working in an easterly direction from Christiansted toward Gallows Point, Gallows Bay and the Pearl B. Larsen Elementary School.

o   On St. John, Rhymer reported that all of Cruz Bay town has been energized. Some crews are working from Cruz Bay toward Coral Bay, while other crews are being mobilized from Coral Bay toward Cruz Bay. This strategy, he said, will reduce the restoration work period to fully restore St. John.

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o   On St. Thomas, he spoke of various communities that have been partially or fully restored. These areas include portions of Bordeaux, Santa Maria, Estate Pearl, Crown Mountain, the downtown business district, Nadir, Bovoni, Cassi Hill Road, Red Hook and Anna’s Retreat including old and new Tutu.

o   In terms of hazard mitigation projects, WAPA, Rhymer said, is looking at undergrounding an area of Sub Base to include Crown Bay Center, Crown Bay Marina, Crowley and Tropical Shipping as well as surrounding businesses. WAPA also intends to work with communication companies to harden their facilities in an effort to ensure restoration following a disaster. Critical facilities on St. Croix are also under consideration for undergrounding, to include a loop around Kingshill that will encompass the two public high school campuses. WAPA will also begin to plant composite poles instead of wooden poles along main circuits around the islands.  The authority is in the process of developing smaller electrical micro-grids at critical locations in both districts.

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

    Reconstruction and restoration crews continued work Monday re-energizing customers while developing the primary circuits and backbone of the electrical distribution system.

        On St. Croix, more than 95 percent of Feeder 1A in Christiansted has been restored. Customers were reenergized on Feeders 4A, 5A and 8B including several businesses in Golden Rock and Little Princesse. Work continued in Frederiksted, as well as on Feeders 10A near Five Corners and 2A from Christiansted town toward the Pearl B. Larsen Elementary School.

        On St. Thomas, work is continuing on all feeders in the district including Water Island, where crews have completed the buildout and restoration of primary circuits. On Feeder 9C work continued in Wintberg, Mandahl and near Mahogany Run. The Yvonne Bowsky Elementary School was re-energized over the last few days. Crews are continuing to develop primary circuits on Feeder 7D in Smith Bay and restoring customers from Smith Bay to Red Hook. Primary circuits on Feeder 10B have been energized from Frenchman’s Bay toward Bolongo. Antilles School was also energized on Monday. The entire primary circuit to the western end of the island has been energized, and some customers have been restored. Reconstruction work is continuing on Feeder 7A’s primary circuits along the north side of St. Thomas.

        On St. John, customers in Peter Bay were restored and work is continuing this week on North Shore Road as well as Fish Bay on Feeder 9E.  Reconstruction crews are also working their way from Cruz Bay toward Calabash Boom and Coral Bay.

  • Crews continue to rebuild a transmission line between WAPA’s East End Substation and the Donald Francois Substation in Long Bay.
  • On Tuesday, traffic flow in both districts will be interrupted as reconstruction and restoration work continues. On St. Croix, motorists should expect traffic interruptions near Five Corners, in Frederiksted around Queen Street and along Queen Mary Highway from west airport road toward the court. On St. Thomas, motorists can expect traffic slowdowns on the Smith Bay Road from Sugar Bay to Lindqvist Beach, on Weymouth Rhymer Highway and on the Mandahl Road to the Magens Bay road intersection.
  • WAPA advises residents that it is necessary to shut off standby generators when line crews are in the 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.
  • 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 Emergency Call Centers operate 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days per week. St. Thomas-St. John: 774-1424 or St. Croix: 773-0150.

    WAPA personnel has removed electrical meters at locations where damage was apparent to either an electrical meter base and/or weather head. 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, those customers who have not had their weather head or meter base repaired will not have service immediately restored. Additionally, 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, contact WAPA’s Emergency Call Centers, which operate seven days a week, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

POTABLE WATER SYSTEM

    There are six days of emergency water storage on St. John, 10 days on St. Thomas and seven days on St. Croix.

WAPA reminds the public that a precautionary boil water notice for potable water customers is in place territory-wide. Due to a drop in the water pressure, as a precaution, we advise that all water used for drinking, cooking, making infant formula or juices, making ice, brushing teeth, washing fruits or vegetables and washing dishes, be boiled. Bringing water to a rolling boil and maintaining for one full minute is sufficient. Water must be adequately cooled before it can be used and should be stored in clean, covered containers. As an alternative, bottled water certified for sale by the Department of Health may be used.

    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

Emergency Call Centers operate 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

St. Thomas-St. John district, 774-1424; St. Croix district, 773-0150

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

    Customer Service Offices operate Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sunny Isle on St. Croix and at Port of Sale Mall on St. Thomas

    WAPA website: www.viwapavin / Facebook: Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority

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