Bahamas Power and Light crews at work this week. (Photo from BPL's Facebook)
By SANCHESKA DORSETT
Tribune Staff Reporter
DESPITE more than 5,000 households left without electricity after the passage of Hurricane Matthew 12 days ago, Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) executives say more than 80 per cent of residential customers in New Providence have been restored to supply.
In fact, BPL said with the help of local contractors, two teams from PowerSecure and two from the Caribbean Electricity Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC), the company is aiming for “full restoration” in New Providence by the end of the week.
In a press statement, the company said despite the inclement weather, crews have been making significant progress in some of the hardest hit areas of the island, such as Pinewood, Elizabeth Estates, Yellow Elder Gardens and Marshall Road.
“BPL crews in conjunction with local contractors, CARILEC teams, and PowerSecure teams have substantially ramped up the pace of restoration in New Providence,” BPL’s statement said.
“However, company officials say as they move closer to full restoration they expect progress to be a bit slower as they estimate that more than 5,000 customers in New Providence either have individual supply issues or supply issues affecting a few area streets. BPL says that starting this week they will be aggressively targeting these types of supply problems,” the statement said.
“In the meantime, despite the inclement weather, crews have been making significant progress in some the hardest hit areas of the island. BPL has started to restore supply to its customers in the southern districts of the island where Hurricane Matthew caused significant flooding. Power has been restored to some customers in the Hanna Road and Marshall Road areas.”
In areas that experienced significant flooding, BPL said the home has to be declared “water free” by a designated Ministry of Works electrical inspector before power is reconnected.
“Where applicable, the following procedures are to be performed by your licensed electrician, remove and replace all receptacles, remove and replace all the switches, remove and replace all wires that were submerged in water, replace all water exposed breakers and if service equipment have been submerged in water they are to be cleaned, dried and sprayed with safety solvent or WD40,” the statement said.
Yesterday BPL crews were said to be working in South Beach Estates East, South Ocean, Pinewood, Elizabeth Estates, Sea Gull Gardens, St Andrews Beach Estates, Crawford Street, Arawak Cay Port, Yellow Elder, Highbury Park, Soldier Road North, Blair, Dannottage Estates, Wulff Road, Collins Avenue, Seabreeze, Imperial Park, Marshall Road, Adderley Street, Coral Heights East, Bacardi Road and Millar’s Heights.
However, the company is reminding its customers that despite doing work in those areas, “there is the potential that some customers may not have their power restored right away”.
As for the Family Islands, BPL said the company has completed restoration in all islands except North and Central Andros and Great Harbour Cay. Great Harbour Cay’s restoration is at 97 per cent while in North and Central Andros the restoration is at 55 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.