WAPA » Newsroom » News releases » 2017

Federal power line crews deploy to U.S. Virgin Islands

​DOE, FEMA sending staff to restore island infrastructure

CONTACT: Jen Neville,, 720.962.7411

​Employees arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sept. 18, ahead of Hurricane Maria. The advance team will work with the local FEMA team and the U.S. Virgin Island Water and Power Authority to assess the damage and develop a comprehensive restoration plan.

See more photos in WAPA's Flickr album.
LAKEWOOD, Colorado – Late last night, 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 F​EMA 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 thr​ough 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 our partners to restore electricity to the islands safely and quickly is top priority for this mission assignment. 

Resources and updates available
WAPA will be tracking it support efforts on our webpage. For people still needing help after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma or wanting to track restoration efforts, here are links to helpful resources:
About WAPA: Western Area Power Administration annually markets and transmits more than 25,000 gigawatt hours of clean, renewable power from 57​ federal hydroelectric powerplants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and International Boundary and Water Commission in 15 western and central states. It is part of the Department of Energy. Follow us on Twitter @WesternAreaPowr or visit the website at 
Page Last Updated: 9/11/2020 8:40 AM