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.