An Update on Power

BBC linemen work at Maho last month.
BBC linemen work at Maho last month.

Hello everyone and happy Monday! Today is the 90th day that some residents in the US Virgin Islands, and here on St. John, do not have power. Here are the latest details on power restoration…

As of last Thursday, 47 percent of customers on St. John have had their power restored, according to Government House. The neighborhoods that have been restored include, but are not limited to: Cruz Bay, Enighed, Contant, Chocolate Hole, Fish Bay, Gifft Hill, Pastory, Pocket Money Hill, Roman Hill Road, Grunwald and Peter Bay. There are areas within these neighborhoods, however, that have not been restored. Work is continuing this week in Coral Bay, Zootenvaal, Freeman Ground and Bordeaux. Poles are also being set along Centerline Road.

As of today, Coral Bay remains 100 percent without power.

Governor Mapp announced last week that an additional 100 linemen will come to the Territory this week. They will join the 760 who are currently working on St. John, St. Thomas and St. Croix. The Governor also reaffirmed his commitment that 90 percent of the Virgin Islands will be energized by Christmas. Currently only 43 percent of the Territory has power. He stated that a large number of new areas expected to be energized soon as repairs are completed to major transmission lines.

Here is a chart that details power restoration within the Territory:

power as of december 30

For residents and owners that have temporary roofs (blue roofs), power will not be restored until a licensed electrician has certified, in writing, that the structure is safe to energize.

If work needs to be done to repair a damaged meter base and/or weather head, customers must call the Emergency Call Center at (340) 774-1424. The call centers is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If your electric meter was removed by WAPA personnel to facilitate repairs to either a meter base and/or weather head, once repairs are completed and a licensed electrician certifies the work, in writing, customers are required to notify the Customer Service office. All fees usually associated with meter removal and reconnection have been waived during this restoration period.

Fingers crossed that Coral Bay gets some power this week. And again, a HUGE thank you to WAPA and the linemen from BBC in Joplin, Missouri for working tirelessly, seven days a week, from sun up to sun down, to help our island recover. You all are simply amazing.

10 thoughts on “An Update on Power”

  1. Coral Bay still has NO power at all!?!? Wow, I bet the place is mostly deserted except the lone few staying to guad their castle. What a miserable existence proctecting your castle by just being there all day and night. Lets hope they get power back and very soon!!!

    • We’re not deserted in Coral Bay with restaurants opening back up and people going to work like usual. Solar is the best way to go albeit the necessary maintenance and costly startup. Not too many can afford this or are rent. Underground utilities sounds like a good idea too, except for our frequent earthquakes and tremors could be a problem.

  2. Jenn, thanks as always for the great update. Question, is there any talk about building some solar power capability? I’m not an expert on this but with all that sun maybe this could be long term idea for the island.

    • Ann – I agree with you, until I saw the following comment by a person (after pictures of the devastation started appearing). It was something like: ‘I am a solar guy and this really hurts’. When roofs are blowing off, special attention needs to occur with any solar application, hey?? Also, I’m unclear if Lovango’s wind turbine survived. If only underground utilities could be pursued…….but that’s another hurdle.

      • It seems good that WAPA is using composite poles in some areas. If they really can take stronger winds that is a good thing. However, above ground wires are always going to be problematic in severe weather situations and if climate change causes the USVIs to experience more frequent and possibly stronger events, an above ground power grid carrying power from a central source is always going to experience failures and require expensive repairs after these events.

        The Caribbean appears to be a perfect location for solar, wind and wave power. I would think a superior solution would include a meshed system using these energy sources tied to distributed battery banks and small grids that can operate independently. I would think a system like that could even power electric consumer vehicles and eliminate much of the need for generators.

        I am sure that weather hardened systems could be designed and built to withstand these destructive events and when failures do occur, the effects would be more localized and partitioned.

  3. My husband is in Coral Bay. The linemen told him on 2 separate occasions in the last 2 weeks, that do not have any more transformers and that WAPA was supposed to be providing them. They said that although the poles and lines may get power, they are out of transformers so many homes will not get power. Can you possibly check with WAPA on this?

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