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WAPA Officials Preparing for Tropical Storm Chris

Aug. 2, 2006 — The V.I. Water and Power Authority's Emergency Planning Team met again early Wednesday morning to review storm preparation plans for the territory, and specifically for St. John, in the event winds and rain from Tropical Storm Chris affect that island as anticipated, according to a release issued by WAPA Wednesday.
The release also states that "several additional WAPA line crews, equipment and vehicles are being transported to St. John from St. Croix and St. Thomas today to be on site and able to quickly move into restoration mode. Adequate line crews will remain on the sister islands to respond to any emergencies that may occur."
Water tanks on St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix are now filled above the standard capacity of 90 percent. Water tanks are filled to protect the tanks from wind damage and also guarantee emergency reserves in the events WAPA is unable to immediately produce water. Fuel reserves are adequate to meet the demand for at least 7 days.
The release continued: "WAPA will provide electric and potable water service as long as possible to all sections of the territory. However, based on the severity of the storm, it may become necessary for WAPA to interrupt service to protect personnel and equipment. The three strike rule will apply. In the event high winds, lightning or heavy rains cause loss of power to a particular feeder, plant personnel will return the service to the feeder three times only. After the third attempt, power will remain off until the storm has passed."
In the release WAPA said that water service will be provided as long as power is available. If there is electrical service interruption, water customers will experience a decrease in service, as water will only be available through gravity feed. Higher elevations will be affected first.
The Authority has established several avenues for information. WAPA urges residents to listen to the radio for up-to-date information. Residents can also call WAPA's Emergency Call Centers which will be activated by WAPA employees as soon as possible after the storm to receive reports about downed lines, water leaks or other WAPA emergencies.
On St. Thomas/St. John/Water Island customers should call 777-9272 (777-WAPA) and on St. Croix, 713-9272 (713-WAPA).
WAPA's other emergency numbers will also be operational. On St. Croix, 773-0150, and on St. Thomas/St. John/Water Island – 774-1424.
WAPA plant personnel will remain on site to monitor all plant operations during the storm, and line crews will begin any necessary restoration work as soon as safely possible.
The release concludes: "WAPA thanks the public in advance for their understanding and cooperation, should the territory suffer any effects from Tropical Storm Chris."

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