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Belco on standby to help Bahamas

Belco is ready to send teams to help the Bahamas in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian.

The storm struck the island nation on Sunday as a Category 5 hurricane and lingered there for almost two days, causing extensive damage. A Belco spokesman said the company reached out to partners in the Caribbean Electric Services Corporation to offer help when it became clear the Bahamas would be hit.

Dennis Pimentel, the Belco president, said: “Our first thoughts are for the safety of all the residents of the Bahamas.

“It's clear that this powerful Category 5 hurricane, the second most powerful ever recorded in the Atlantic, has caused several deaths and extensive damage to property and infrastructure on the Abaco Islands and on Grand Bahama.

“Our team is on standby as assessments need to be carried out and a plan of action put into place by the Bahamian disaster management team. We are in regular communication with our Cariclec counterparts, and are ready to assist, once our crews have the necessary accommodations and other considerations, to effectively help with restoration efforts.”

Mr Pimentel added that Algonquin Power and Utilities, a Canadian energy company which has offered to purchase Belco's parent company Ascendant, would be able to assist Bermuda, if the island faced a similar disaster. The sale has been approved by stakeholders, but the deal is still subject to regulatory approval.

He said: “One of the major benefits of being acquired by Algonquin is having a mutual aid agreement in place.

“Through Algonquin's Utility Division which employs over 130 linesmen, Belco will have access to a number of these resources, which can be deployed to Bermuda, in the event that we are impacted by a hurricane, greatly improving our ability to rapidly restore power throughout the island.”

A volunteer looks for the owner of a dog he rescued from the rising waters of Hurricane Dorian, on a flooded road near the Causarina bridge in Freeport, Grand Bahama, on Tuesday (Photograph by Ramon Espinosa/AP)

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Published September 05, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated September 05, 2019 at 2:16 pm)

Belco on standby to help Bahamas

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