WAPA Updates Conditions Post Hurricane Dorian

Lawrence Kupfer discusses WAPA's Transformation Plan during an interview Monday. (Source photo by sap)
Lawrence Kupfer, WAPA’s executive director. (Source photo by sap)

The V.I. Water and Power Authority (WAPA) informs the public that all St. Thomas-St. John Electrical feeders are energized; crews are now focused on resolving isolated service interruptions; the potable water system is fully functional.

All electrical feeders on St. Thomas were fully energized Friday afternoon once crews completed repairs on several sections of feeder 7A, including a pole replacement. The feeder was restored at approximately 2:20 p.m.

“With all feeders now energized, crews have doubled their efforts to address an approximate eight isolated service interruptions that have been reported across the island,” said Executive Director Lawrence J. Kupfer.

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Kupfer said there are a number of crews consisting of WAPA line department personnel, and off-island contractors are working to address the pocket outages. “Our goal is to continue the effort until all customers who were receiving electrical service before the passage of Dorian are restored.” Currently, an estimated 204 customers are affected by the isolated outages.

Kupfer urged any customer who is experiencing an electrical service interruption to contact WAPA’s electronic outage reporting system to ensure that a work order is created and dispatched restoration. Customers on St. Croix should call 773-2250; select option 4. On St. Thomas – St. John, call 774-3552; select option 4.

In the meantime, Kupfer said potable water service on St. Thomas has been restored as well. “All pumps stations are on line as of Thursday night, and we are providing water service to our customers. We have issued a boil water precautionary advisory after talks with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources.”

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.

“Our employees have done an exceptional job in restoring service to St. Croix on the same night of the storm, and on St. Thomas-St. John within two full days after the passage of Hurricane Dorian. I join a grateful Virgin Islands community in thanking the men and women of WAPA,” Kupfer said. He also extended a “word of thanks to our customers for their patience as we completely restored our electrical systems.”

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