Customers without power drops below 900
Just 896 customers are still without electricity in the wake of Hurricane Fiona this afternoon.
Belco workers cut the number of customers without power from 1,101 at 8am today and a high of more than 29,000 customers around midday on Friday.
Restoration may now slow down as many of the outages concern small groups or individual customers.
Just three customers in Sandys were without power at midday today and the parish with the largest number of customers still in the dark was Paget with 259.
A tweet from Belco said at 12.14pm: “Our crews are still working to restore power to the remaining 3 per cent of our customers as safely and quickly as possible.”
Crews were expected to work in the areas of South Road, Tamarind Vale and Barnes Corner in the west to central parishes this afternoon, as well as the areas of Langton Hill, Border Lane South, Kyhber Heights and Middle Road in more central locations.
The Belco twitter feed said that restoration is planned for the areas of Harrington Hundreds Road and Cable Hill for its east to central teams with Slip Point Lane also a focus for the east.
Belco added: “Please note that as restoration efforts continue, customers may experience temporary outages as crews de-energise circuits to safely effect repairs. As a result, outage numbers will fluctuate throughout this process.”
Belco said its crews started back on restoration efforts at 7am yesterday, working on area assessments and restoration of main line circuits for critical loads (hospitals, hotels, schools, etc).
The company warned: “If you have power in one half of your house, this is called a partial power outage. This means you have only one phase of electricity available; therefore one half of your house is being powered. If you are experiencing this, you should unplug all sensitive equipment and turn off all fuses in the breaker box.
“Please note that as restoration efforts continue, customers may experience temporary outages as crews de-energise circuits to safely effect repairs. As a result, outage numbers will fluctuate throughout this process.
“Belco crews will continue to work quickly and safely to restore power to all customers.”
Belco said that 19,978 customers had their power restored since 8am yesterday.
The power outages came after Bermuda was hit with high winds, but avoided the worst of Hurricane Fiona, a Category 4 storm.
Fort George was battered with gusts of almost 70 knots – about 80mph – and Fiona’s closest point to the island came at around 5am.
Despite dropping to a category 3 hurricane, tropical storm force winds continued to hit Bermuda for some hours.
The destructive path of the hurricane saw power outages begin at about 11.30pm on Thursday as 900 customers were hit, but the number soared to more than 4,000 by 1.45am on Friday and by 5am, 17,285 customers were out.
At 8pm that night 11,996 customers were still without power, down from 18,153 reported earlier and a high of more than 29,000 customers around midday.
As the company moved to restoring power, it said: “Our crews are working to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. Please exercise caution when driving near our working team members as safety is of the utmost importance.”
The company also asked people not to call in report power outages at this time. It said: “Customers with AMI meters don't have to call as outages are reported directly to Belco.
“Please keep out of the way of Belco crews as they work.”
It added in a tweet: “Once power is restored, if a light bulb is extremely bright or dim, turn off your power at the meter and contact Belco. This may indicate a voltage problem.”
And the company reminded people to put safety first: “Always assume that downed power lines are energised & stay at least 33 ft away. Stay clear of debris that may conceal live power lines. If you come across a downed power line, do NOT run. Keep your legs together and shuffle away with both feet on the ground.”
And Belco also asked people not plug generators directly into the electricity supply and to never use put the generator indoors.
“Hooking up your generator directly into your home power supply could energise the outside power lines and electrocute a utility worker,” Belco said. “If you must connect the generator through the house wiring to power appliances, use a qualified and licensed electrician.”