ST. CROIX - You Find the Strangest Articles Sometimes....Widespread Outage Blamed on Mules... : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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by Nom D. Plume

April 11, 2000 ST. CROIX - WAPA officials released the results of their investigation into the cause of last week's widespread power outages. Heavy rains caused three out of six generators at the Richmond plant to fail, leaving most of St. Croix in total darkness for several hours.

The problem largely stems from the fact that WAPA's equipment is powered by mules that are hitched up to a turnstile.

As the tethered beasts walk around in a circle, they spin a set of magnets to produce electricity. Soggy conditions brought on by the rain caused the animals to become bogged down in the mud. A power failure occurred when three of six donkey's got stuck, and were unable to continue walking in circles. The downpours took a heavy toll on WAPA's aging equipment. On Tuesday, Feeder #3, affectionately known as "Pepe", slipped and broke his leg, forcing technicians to put the hardworking burro out of his misery. "Pepe" was my favorite feeder," said one worker. Pepe is survived by his wife, Feeder #4 and his son, Feeder #9. WAPA officials have already taken steps to proven a reoccurrence of last week's problems. They plan to replace the mules with animals that can better withstand watery conditions. According to sources, a group of unnamed Asian investors will donate 2 water buffaloes and a yak to WAPA with the next few weeks. Water buffaloes are commonly used in rice paddies, and are therefore accustomed to being in the mud.

Plant officials are asking consumers to conserve energy until WAPA is able to complete the necessary repairs. Feeder #7 will be "taken off line" to have a piece of kasha bush removed from his hoof. "Juanito", also known as Feeder #2, smells bad and needs a bath. On Monday, "Babalooey", or Feeder #1, injured a maintenance worker after being spooked by backfire from a passing car. The worker was taken to the hospital where doctors said his condition was "pretty good considering the ass kickin' he took."

Critics say WAPA should have been better prepared for last week's storm. They contend that WAPA's executive director could have prevented the damage to Feeder #3 if he had done a better job covering his ass.

The Public Services Commission issued Raymond George a reprimand, warning him to watch his ass the next time it rains. In a related story, WAPA is informing the public that a power outage is scheduled for this weekend. The outage is necessary in order to allow Feeder #4 and Feeder #9 to attend Feeder #3's funeral.


-- (, April 11, 2000

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