The Latest on Power Restoration & Why There is No Reason to Cancel Your Trip

cruz bay april 5 2018
Cruz Bay, April 5, 2018

Hello everyone, so as you probably know by now, we had a major fire last night at the substation in Cruz Bay. At the time of the fire, the island was already experiencing an island-wide power outage due to a tripped generating unit at the power plant on St. Thomas. Did one have to do with the other? Only time will tell.

We learned late last night that one of the two transformers at the substation was destroyed by the fire. The good news is that the second one was not destroyed by fire. WAPA (Virgin Islands Water and Power) is performing air quality tests this morning to see whether it is safe for workers to enter that building. A fair amount of diesel fuel burned last night at the substation, potentially causing unsafe air in that area. Once the workers are able to enter the substation, they’ll assess the building to see what repairs need to be made.

WAPA believes that power restoration will begin this evening. So if you happened to have read somewhere on the internet that it will be weeks or months before we have power, please take that with a grain of salt. Unless someone here has a crystal ball that they are not sharing with me, no one really knows that answer. What I can say – and let me preface this by saying this is just my thought and I am certainly not a substation expert – is that we have two transformers. If the second one is in operational order, I believe that St. John can run off of that one. But again, only time will tell.

So should you cancel your vacation? No. If you are here on island, should you schedule a flight home? No. If you are here on vacation, go to the beach and enjoy a cold beer today. If you are at home and coming here soon, keep dreaming about putting your toes in the sand. Everything’s gonna be all right.

10 thoughts on “The Latest on Power Restoration & Why There is No Reason to Cancel Your Trip”

  1. Sure hope power gets turned back on soon. Very soon!!! Arriving on island this Saturday afternoon. No, we will NOT cancel!!! Too late to anyway, and we will survive. Just hope we can get ice to keep the beer cold!!! LOL Thanks for all of your updates, Jenn.

  2. To quote Mr. Chesney and Mr. Murphy:

    “Everything’s gonna be alright
    Everything’s gonna be alright
    And nobody’s gotta worry ’bout nothing
    Don’t go hittin’ that panic button
    It ain’t worth spilling your drink
    Everything’s gonna be alright
    Alright, alright”


  3. Ok, Ok

    I know you all know what this means as posted but Darby’s if it makes sense to me.

    “WAPA’s System Planning staff is working to untie the Ridge Road feeder from one of the St. John feeders to allow for customers on Ridge Road feeder to be restored tonight.”

    I don’t speak “WAPA” so does this mean STJ gets power tonight or what?

  4. Fine for power this time.

    With the amount of hotel taxes and property taxes owners pay think it’s about time for a complete change.

    STJ should cut the cord with STT and have their own independent solar generating power system. Obvious, with all the brownouts in recent years it’s time to shed WAPA and dependency on their antiquitied system. Just my opinion

    • Amen, Mike, on the solar comment. There is no excuse for the Caribbean not to go solar. You have sun about 350 days a year, I believe. It would take a large initial effort, and would mean a big change from ‘the way things have been done’, PLUS would have to be carefully planned to be as hurricane-safe as possible, but it would be hugely worth it. Up here in the northern US we’ve had a solar array on our house for 10 years. We get about 65% of our electricity from it — on a 90-year-old house, not designed for any such thing, in a neighborhood with mature trees, in a northern climate. Solar is not only possible, it’s imperative. I’m told that post-IrMaria, Elon Musk had a plan for STJ and was turned down. The powers that be should reconsider.

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