Electricity restoration encounters obstacles
The ongoing restoration of power knocked out by recent storms has been slowed by short circuits caused by rain and salt, as well as a “significant” outage caused by a vehicle colliding with a mainline pole, Belco advised this morning.
The power company last reported a small increase in the number of customers without electricity, and a Belco spokeswoman said crews would continue working on yesterday’s list of areas still in the dark.
There have been 1,500 customers left without electricity since Tropical Storm Fay’s impact with Bermuda on October 12, followed by Hurricane Gonzalo on October 17.
Power was knocked out for a swathe of residents on Wednesday after a truck collided with a mainline pole at Dock Hill, Devonshire.
Rain in the middle of the week also picked up deposits of salt left on the utility poles, the spokeswoman said. Since salt water conducts electricity, several fires were started on electrical poles, which forced the company to shut down circuits — further hampering restoration.
The spokeswoman added: “As a result, we are not producing a new list of major areas to be worked on for Friday, October 24, as crews will continue working on areas previously listed. We will provide updates during the day, if new major areas are added to the list. In addition to major work areas, as previously mentioned, several crews will be dedicated to restoring power for the remaining commercial customers and those who lost power as a result of Tropical Storm Fay. Those special assignments will be handled by Caribbean Electric Utility Service Corporation (CARILEC) crews, working with Belco staff.”
There are currently 19 CARILEC linesmen, from the Bahamas, Belize, Barbados and Cayman working alongside Belco staff — some of whom have helped Bermuda before, in the aftermath of 2003’s Hurricane Fabian.