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SALT SPRAY CITED AS CAUSE OF POWER OUTAGES

March 9, 2004 – Some North Shore residents will be without power until late Tuesday night, Water and Power Authority officials announced on Tuesday afternoon.
"We are continuing to have a number of blown transformers and damaged insulators on the northwestern end of St. Croix," WAPA spokeswoman Cassandra Dunn said.
Salt spray from recent high tides and heavy winds have "saturated" several insulators on poles near the sea, causing the power outages, a release from WAPA stated. Residents have been experiencing outages since last week. The problems are mainly in the Sprat Hall and Mount Victory areas, Dunn said.
Line crews have been putting in new insulators where the salt cut the lines, and poles and transformers are being replaced, she said. Additionally, V.I. Fire Service personnel have been hosing down power lines to wash off the salt.
"We're working as hard as we can to get everything replaced and rewired," Dunn said.
WAPA is seeking to take power lines underground in the coastal areas in the near future to prevent the problem from recurring, she said, "but for now we will be monitoring the lines."

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