Late on Sept. 18, the Department of Energy’s Western Area Power Administration deployed an advance team to the U.S. Virgin Islands in support of restoration efforts after Hurricane Irma.
“I'm proud to see the members of our WAPA team join recovery and restoration efforts on the Virgin Islands,” said Energy Secretary Rick Perry. “We’re committed to continued assistance with our partners at FEMA, others from across the federal government, and the Virgin Islands. We will be there for those affected until all power is restored and the recovery is complete.”
DOE emergency responders have been working on power restoration efforts with the Federal Emergency Management Agency Incident Management Assistance Team in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix, since early September. DOE is partnering with FEMA to send experts from Western Area Power Administration to help with replacing poles and restringing power lines on the islands. Following the advance team, additional line crews anticipate deploying after Hurricane Maria has passed.
“Power is an essential function and through teamwork with Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority and FEMA, we will help people through this difficult time by getting the power restored as soon as possible,” said WAPA Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel.
Working with WAPA's partners to restore electricity to the islands safely and quickly is top priority for this mission assignment.