Speaking at a news conference hosted by Acting Governor Osbert Potter on Wednesday, Executive Director Julio Rhymer, Sr. thanked WAPA’s employees, along with the on and off-island contractors, and the public who continue to support the ongoing restoration of electrical service across the territory. Rhymer reported that the buildout of primary circuits is essentially complete and approximately 40% of customers in the territory have been restored. The number of restored customers is in excess of 19,000. Rhymer also said additional linemen arrived on St. Croix Wednesday from Ocala, Tallahassee and South Carolina to augment the restoration work.
In a broad overview of the restoration on St. Croix, Rhymer said crews were working late Wednesday to restore service to residents at the Aureo Diaz housing community. Service was restored to customers in Estates Welcome, Solitude, Peter’s Rest and from Barren Spot to La Reine. The UVI campus was also restored, as well as the Cruzan Rum distillery and homes in Mount Pleasant, all along Centerline Road.
On St. Thomas, service was restored to customers in Fortuna, Hull Bay, Agnes Fancy, Altona, Savan, Anna’s Retreat and Bolongo. Some residents in Frenchtown were restored on Tuesday evening and the majority of that community will be restored within one week. Service was also restored to businesses on Harwood Highway from MSI to just outside the entrance to Subbase. Primary lines have been strung in Old Tutu up to the Mc Bean ball park as well as in Estate Mafolie. Electrical service to approximately 75% of the 115 customers on Water Island has been restored. Work on reconstructing the Ridge Road Feeder continues with a portion of the primary circuits already energized.
On St. John, efforts are progressing to complete the build out of primary circuits toward Coral Bay and should be completed by the weekend. Crews are also working to restore service in Fish Bay, Estate Adrian, Glucksberg, and at residences in George Simmonds Terrace.
- Through an agreement reached with the Department of Planning & Natural Resources, WAPA will restore electrical service to homes with temporary roofs (blue roofs) once a licensed electrician has certified, in writing, that the structure is safe to energize.
- 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, customers must call the Emergency Call Center at 340-774-1424 on St. Thomas-St. John or 340-773-0150 on St. Croix. The call centers operate seven days a week, 9 am – 5 pm.
- If your electric meter was removed by WAPA personnel to facilitate repairs to either a meter base and/or weather head, once repairs are completed and a licensed electrician certifies the work in writing, customers are required to contact the Customer Service office to ensure that the meter will be reinstalled and resealed prior to the restoration of electrical service. All fees usually associated with meter removal and reconnection have been waived. Customer service offices are operating Monday–Friday, 9 am – 4 pm at Sunny Isle on St. Croix and Port of Sale Mall on St. Thomas.
- Reconstruction, restoration, and hurricane debris removal crews are deployed across the islands. Motorists are asked to exercise caution when driving through the work areas and to heed the directions of flaggers and VIPD officers who are assisting with traffic control.
- WAPA urges residents to shut off standby generators when line crews are in your 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.
POTABLE WATER SYSTEM
- There are seven days of emergency water storage on St. John, eight days on St. Thomas, and five days on St. Croix.
- 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.
- WAPA telephone contact: St. Thomas – St. John district, 340-774-3552; St. Croix district, 340-773-2250
- Customer Service Offices are operating Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Sunny Isle on St. Croix and at Port of Sale Mall on St. Thomas. The offices will be closed on Thursday in observance of Thanksgiving Day.
- The latest information on the restoration effort is available on the WAPA website, www.viwapa.vi and on Facebook: Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority.
- We continue to Recover, Rebuild and Restore. WAPA…Working for You!!
- The next restoration update will be issued on Friday, November 24, 2017.