The restoration of power to Feeder 13 on St. Thomas continues to present ongoing challenges, the V.I. Water and Power Authority announced in a press release Friday.
The ongoing situation is not normal and as previously highlighted in the Sept. 19 press release, damage to Feeder 13’s primary cable has presented the Authority with a set of unique difficulties that WAPA personnel are actively working to address on the St. Thomas-St. John district, according to the press release.
A significant part of the challenge the Authority is facing resides in the fact that Feeder 13’s primary cable that was damaged runs underground. While undergrounding power lines offers increased resilience during storm season, it also introduces complexities when it comes to locating and repairing damage on the line, the press release stated.
Since Sept. 16, WAPA personnel have been repeatedly entering manholes along the impacted area from Charlotte Amalie waterfront to Sub Base, attempting to identify and address the damage, a task that is both hazardous and demanding in confined spaces, the release stated.
Additionally, the age and brittleness of the cable have compounded the difficulties faced by WAPA’s restoration teams. Each restoration attempt has been met with the unfortunate occurrence of a subsequent fault on the cable, leading to Feeder 13 tripping again, it said.
The Authority assures the community that its personnel are working around the clock to restore power to Feeder 13. In addition to internal efforts, WAPA is closely collaborating with Government House and partnering with contractors, including Haugland Group, to expedite restoration endeavors. The Authority recognizes the critical importance of reliable electric service, and no effort is being spared to resolve this situation as quickly as possible, according to the release.
Currently, the Authority cannot provide an estimated restoration time for Feeder 13 due to the complexity of underground repairs, older cable, and numerous other challenging variables that make setting a definitive timeline difficult. With Feeder 13 presently out of service having sustained damage in the field, WAPA has been forced to rely solely on Feeder 12 to support the bulk of the electrical load of the district, except for distribution feeders that originate at Randolph Harley Power Plant, such as Feeder 7A. To minimize the impact on customers, WAPA is actively managing the load with rotational outages and working diligently to keep as many customers online as possible. The community’s patience and understanding are invaluable during this challenging period. WAPA will continue to provide updates on repair progress, the release stated.
For the fastest information and updates, please subscribe to WAPA alerts or sign up at https://www.viwapa.vi/news-information/advisory-details or customers can download the Everbridge App. Information can also be found on the website at www.viwapa.vi and on social media platforms at @USVIWAPA on Facebook and on Twitter @VIWAPA. See the QR code below for the YouTube video providing a press release overview: