The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority
Corporate Communications
NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Jean P. Greaux, Jr., Director of Corporate Communications
340-774-3552 extension 2147 or 340-244-7330
communications@viwapa.vi / www.viwapa.vi

August 29, 2019

ELECTRICAL SERVICE RESTORATION WORK ONGOING IN ST. THOMAS – ST. JOHN;

WAPA RESTORES 100% ELECTRICAL SERVICE TO ST. CROIX WITHIN HOURS OF DORIAN’S PASSAGE THROUGH THE VIRGIN ISLANDS;

POTABLE WATER SERVICE RETURNING TO NORMAL

All electrical feeders in the St. Thomas-St. John district are either fully or partially energized following efforts by more than half a dozen line crews performing repairs to storm-related damage across several areas on St. Thomas Thursday. And while work continues to fully energize Feeders 7A and 8A, line crews have begun to address more than 50 isolated service interruptions that are reported at various locations across the island.

St. John was fully energized on Thursday as crews addressed pocket outage in some areas, and the island’s two feeders were restored.

On St. Croix, full electrical service was restored on Wednesday night, some four hours after then Tropical Storm Dorian skirted the island. Beginning at 4 p.m., line crews were dispersed across select areas of the island to conduct a damage assessment of the electric grid before commencing the restoration of service to customers.

After confirmation that there was no impact on the electrical distribution system, Executive Director Lawrence J. Kupfer said engineers and plant personnel began the task of restoring service to customers. “I would like to also point out that throughout the passage of Dorian, the Estate Richmond Power Plant remained online.” All St. Croix feeders were restored by 7:15 p.m.  Wednesday and Kupfer said following the restoration of all feeders, line department personnel shifted focus to resolving isolated service interruptions involving small numbers of customers.

“I was equally pleased to observe the timely manner in which the Seven Seas Reverse Osmosis water production facility was brought back on-line. This, together with the restoration of our pump stations across the island, ensured no interruption of potable water service to customers on St. Croix,” he said.

Any customer that remains without electrical service is likely experiencing an isolated service interruption. Customers can make reports of isolated service interruptions as follows: on St. Thomas – St. John, call 340-774-3552, Option 4. On St. Croix, call 340-773-2250, Option 4. Reports of service interruptions can also be emailed to communications@viwapa.vi.

Potable water service on St. Thomas is being restored now that pump stations are re-energized. By Thursday evening, all pump stations with the exception of two facilities in Savan were back on line. The restoration of the pump stations will facilitate the resumption of potable water service.

On Thursday evening, the Water Division issued a precautionary boil water notice for potable water customers in the St. Thomas-St. John District. Due to a drop in water pressure in various parts of the water distribution system, as a precaution, 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 V.I. Department of Health may be used.

Water pressure keeps pollutants from entering the underground pipes that bring drinking water to your home or business.  This notice does not mean that the water is contaminated, it means it is possible for contaminants to enter the pipes and affect potable water. Until required bacteriological testing is completed, we recommend, as a precaution boiling tap water before using it to kill any potential contaminants.

The Authority’s microbiology water quality technicians are in the field closely monitoring the system for any irregularities that may occur.  They take great care in ensuring that your water is safe to drink and we appreciate your corporation with this precautionary boil water notice.

The public will be updated accordingly regarding WAPA’s system monitoring evaluations.

Kupfer thanked the men and women of WAPA who worked tirelessly before, during, and after the storm to mitigate any long lasting effects of Dorian on our ability to produce and provide both electrical and potable water service for our customers.  “I express my gratitude to the community for its understanding during the ongoing restoration process. The effort will continue until service has been restored to all customers.”