Service Restored After Malfunction Knocks Out Power to More than 10,000

Electrical service was restored to five feeders on St. Thomas Saturday night, about four hours after generating unit 25 malfunctioned, causing the service interruption, according to Water and Power Authority spokesman Jean Greaux.

The generator malfunction was the most significant outage on a day that saw isolated problems in neighborhoods across the island caused by recent heavy rain. Greaux said utility poles snapped and transformers and fuses on poles went out.

The five feeders affected by the generator problem were: 6A, 7A, 8A, 9D and Ridgeroad. Plant personnel estimated about 10,800 customers were affected by the Saturday outage.

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At about 7 p.m., portions of Feeder 9E experienced a service interruption which affected portions of St. John.

As of 9:30 p.m. Saturday, most service had been restored, with the exception of pockets around Frenchman’s Bay and Cassi Hill on St. Thomas and along a portion of Centerline Road near the Westin Resort on St. John, according to the WAPA statement.

Unit 25’s failure also impacted the operation of Units18 and 14, Greaux said.

“We expect to have everything repaired by late tonight,” he said.

Greaux said that information on outages is available in a crawl on WAPA’s website, www.viwapa.vi, on its Facebook page at Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority and on the telephone at 1-340-774-3552, option 6. He said residents can send messages via the contact section of the website but if those leaving messages don’t leave an email address or phone number, he can’t respond.

WAPA Executive Director Hugo V. Hodge, Jr. said that initial findings by plant personnel indicate that Unit 25, a generating unit being leased by WAPA, suffered technical difficulties.

“The company which owns the generating unit will perform the necessary assessment and analysis to determine why it is not functioning to full capacity,” Hodge said.

Hodge said efforts continued through the evening to restore service.

“The plant personnel worked diligently to tie in the feeders and restore power as quickly as possible. On behalf of the men and women of the Virgin Islands Water & Power Authority, I apologize for the inconvenience caused by today’s power interruption. I realize this was an important day for many and some plans may have been adversely affected by today’s outage.”
 

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