PHILIPSBURG–Just over three months after the worst hurricane in the Atlantic destroyed St. Maarten, water supply has been restored to all areas in the country and electricity has been restored to an estimated ninety per cent of the population.
Utilities company GEBE hopes to have electricity fully restored to all households by December 23.
The company provided the update on the restoration process following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in a press release on Thursday. It said its personnel and local contractors have been working around the clock to ensure that all districts are powered up and supplied with water.
GEBE said it is also diligently working to move the electricity connections of many areas underground. A total of 60 underground trenches in various areas have been worked on since Hurricane Irma.
Those still to be completed include Marimba Drive, Muggy Tree Drive, Romeo Drive, Wyoming Street, Mathew Lane, Rubber Tree Drive, Aaron Jacobs Drive, Amaranthus Road, Sunflower Road, Amber Drive, Banjo Drive, Citrine Drive, Jumping Cholla Cactus Drive, Windward Street, Paramaribo Drive, Cannegieter Drive and part of Saba Drive.
In other areas, electricity will be restored using overhead connections. The overhead connections that are yet to be completed include Richards Drive, Madrid Road, Tintamare Drive, Trinidad Drive, Brown’s Drive, Tortola Road, Nazareth, Madrid Lane, Quiltor Drive, Guavaberry Road, parts of L.B. Scott Road, Bleeding Heart, road to Dawn Beach, Mount Repose, Woods Drive and part of Saba Drive.
GEBE urges residents to contact its call centre if their area is not listed above and is still not connected.
According to GEBE, meters that were lost during the hurricanes have been replaced and with all areas now having water, tap points that were created by GEBE to supply the community with water have now been closed off.
Customers whose meters are damaged or still missing are urged to request a replacement by visiting the distribution building on Cannegieter Street across from the Kadaster Office. Customers must bring a copy of their last bill when requesting the new meter.
Additionally, GEBE will take measures to correct all illegal direct connections to its water grid as of Tuesday December 19. The community is also requested to continue to report all leaks to the company’s call centre.
The call centre can be reached by calling tel. 546-1100, 546-1127, 546-1160, 546-1193 or 544-3100. The call centre is open until 11:00pm. After 11:00pm all calls will be switched over to the operator at the power plant.
GEBE said the first water tank repair (Cay Hill tank) is nearing completion and will be ready in time for Christmas. Filling of the tank will now begin followed by putting the tank into immediate service to supply potable water to residents and visitors to the island.
GEBE management explained that having the Cay Hill tank back up will facilitate the stability of the water network, which will enable GEBE to provide water to the entire community, as this particular tank is the heart of the water network.
GEBE thanked the community for their patience and cooperation during the restoration process.