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WAPA Monitoring Tropical Storm Depression 13; Preparations Being Finalized

Lawrence Kupfer discusses WAPA's Transformation Plan during an interview Monday. (Source photo by sap)
Lawrence Kupfer during an interview in July of 2019. (Source photo by Shaun A. Pennington)

The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) continues to monitor the track of Tropical Depression 13, which, from all projections, could bring tropical storm conditions in and around the territory this weekend.

“As we did when another storm system threatened the territory in July, we again assure our customers of the Authority’s year-round disaster preparedness efforts aimed at ensuring timely response, restoration and rebuild should it be necessary. These are key factors in maintaining the electric and water service WAPA provides,” said Executive Director and CEO Lawrence J. Kupfer.

The preparedness includes but is not limited to identifying additional manpower and equipment, arranging for debris removal, damage assessment services and finalizing supply contracts for additional equipment that may be required in a restoration effort.

WAPA enters the peak of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season confronted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “While the pandemic creates additional challenges, WAPA remains committed to providing electrical and water service to the greatest extent possible before, during and after any disaster our territory may face,” Kupfer said.

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“We remind all residents that should a disaster strike the territory, downed power lines and poles should not be cut or moved. All electrical equipment should be treated as fully energized and not tampered with. Instead, please notify our 24-hour dispatch centers at 340-774-3552 or 340-773-2250, select option 4, to report the downed or damaged equipment. These numbers may also be used to report service interruptions.

“Customers are encouraged to tune into local media outlets and social media platforms to remain informed about developments involving WAPA’s operations. WAPA will regularly update the public regarding the levels of service before, during and immediately after a disaster event. The Authority’s website is a critical hub for general information about WAPA and is also an online payment portal.

“Updated information is also provided via the WAPA telephone system. Dial 340-774-3552 or 340-773-2250, select option 6. Additionally, the public is encouraged to sign up for WAPA Alerts, a free messaging service which provides routine updates in the form of text or email messages. Sign up today on the WAPA website and stay connected.

“Once again, I encourage both our employees and our customers to take time now to finalize their preparedness efforts for the remainder of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Take a moment to make certain that you have supplies, such as drinking water and non- perishable food items for you and your family for at least ten days. Just as important is that every family have a communications plan and know what to do should a storm or other disaster impact the territory. Let us continue to prepare and remain safe,” Kupfer said.

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