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Belco response ‘a remarkable achievement’

Belco crews were praised by David Burt, the Premier, after they worked flat-out to restore power to more than 22,000 homes after Hurricane Paulette.

The firm re-enlisted retired staff from the electricity generation firm to help ensure the lights went back on as fast as possible.

Mr Burt said yesterday: “While I know that a considerable number of people remain without power, Belco's workers returned electricity to over 20,000 customers since the end of storm-force winds.

“This is a remarkable achievement and I have already expressed my thanks on behalf of the people of Bermuda to those men and women at Belco.”

More than 25,000 homes were without power at the peak of Monday's storm, many as a result of downed utility poles across the island.

About 1,500 homes remained without power at noon today.

Dennis Pimentel, the Belco president, said: “Our crews are making great progress in restoring power quickly and safely to our customers.

“I would like to thank the public for their patience and understanding as we work to get the remaining customers switched back on.

“Please ensure our crews have access to areas they need to work to repair damaged power lines so that power can be restored to all our customers as quickly as possible.”

The central parishes were the worst hit, with 771 homes in Devonshire and 248 in Pembroke without power at noon.

A Belco spokesman said yesterday: “Belco is aware of a number of utility poles that have come down in the high winds.

“While it is still daylight, Belco crews will be on the roads responding to any emergencies.

“Crews will also be making damage assessments and checking substation supplies and restocking where possible.”

He added last night: “Crews continue to work on main lines this evening and plan to address pockets of branch line outages tomorrow, starting with more critical areas.”

Crews were due to stand down at midnight last night and start work today at 8am.

The spokesman added that Belco's crisis management team would meet and co-ordinate restoration efforts until power was restored island-wide.

He added that downed power lines were an extreme danger and issued a safety warning:

• Stay away from downed power lines — at least 33ft, or about three car lengths

• Always assume downed power lines are energised and dangerous

• Stay clear of piles of debris or downed foliage that may conceal live power lines

• Do not run from a fallen line. Running from a fallen line may cause your legs to bridge current from higher to lower voltage and you may receive a shock. Instead, keep your legs together and shuffle away with both feet on the ground. Shuffle a safe distance — 33ft or more — away from other utility poles

Anyone still without power is asked not to call Belco. Visit belco.bm or the firm's Facebook and Instagram pages for updates

Damage from Hurricane Paulette (Photograph supplied)

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Published September 16, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated September 16, 2020 at 6:33 pm)

Belco response ‘a remarkable achievement’

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