0

Abaco Power Outages Driving Tourists Away

By NATARIO McKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

Abaco businesses have been "left in the dark" by frequent power outages, with tourists cutting short their vacation amid "grave concern" for economic and reputational damage.

Vado Bootle, the Abaco Chamber of Commerce president, said there was "anger and frustration" over a series of prolonged power cuts by Bahamas Power & Light (BPL) that have lasted for nearly a week.

He told Tribune Business that the island had been "left in the dark" over the reason for the power cuts, having received no formal communication from BPL.

A BPL spokesman told this newspaper yesterday that there was a "system fault in the entire network that caused intermittent outages on the entire island. BPL is working to improve reliability and we are in the process of making those improvement to prevent the outages".

However, Mr Bootle blasted: "It is very negatively impacting us because people are leaving because of the extended power outages. Tourists are packing up and leaving the Abacos having not finished their vacation.

"It is a grave concern for us. We have gotten no communication from BPL as to what's happening. I'm in the process of writing to BPL to find out what their plans are moving forward with the summer really only just beginning."

Giselle McIntosh, chief councillor for Green Turtle Cay, told Tribune Business: "I know that speaking with people around town that some of our tourists who have rented local homes have left early due to the power cuts. It is definitely affecting the economy, it is definitely affecting the feeling of coming here.

"If you have been here a week and the power has been off 90 per cent of the time, it really leaves a sour taste in your mouth. We're ready to meet with whoever we need to meet with and try and get some attention drawn to this issue. This kind of thing in this day and age should not be happening, and certainly not to this severity. The fact that no one knows what's really going on makes the situation all the more frustrating."

Lance Pinder, operations manager at Abaco Big Bird, told Tribune Business: "This has been going on for the last five days. The power has been going on and off, sometimes for 12-plus hours. It is island-wide sometimes.

"I cannot even remember how many times it has been off in the last four to five days where I live in Treasure Cay. Some areas of Green Turtle Cay were reportedly out for two to three days."

Mr Pinder added: "This is our busiest time of year on Abaco, and tourists are complaining and leaving the Island. No one seems to know what is going on, and everyone says something different.

"There was also a lightning strike in Marsh Harbour about two weeks ago, and some people and businesses have had no phone or Internet for two weeks now, Abaco Big Bird included. People are angry and frustrated on the Island."

Comments

DaGoobs 1 year, 8 months ago

So what is URCA doing about the frequent power cuts by BPL in Abaco, Nassau and Harbour Island? They levied a big fine on BTC when they did it twice but nothing on the electrical dinosaur that can't keep its over priced power on in any of the major population centres that it serves? Can anyone say Power Secure?

0

DDK 1 year, 8 months ago

Who the hell is POWER SECURE???? An overpriced figment of the Plunder Loot Pillage imagination? It is beginning to feel like SSDD.

0

Socrates 1 year, 8 months ago

If they can't keep it on in Nassau, why would Abaco expect any different? Crap infrastructure will complete the destruction of the only source of income we have yet... Same old story, we can't keep the light on because we have thunderstorms, trees hit the power lines, cable faults, etc.. sound familiar? These things do happen and can have that effect sometime, but all the time?

0

DDK 1 year, 8 months ago

You forgot the cars that run into the poles. LOL

0

DDK 1 year, 8 months ago

This has been going on for decades. Happy Independence! It is taken for granted that there will be multiple power failures and that these should be accepted as a fact of Bahamian life. The People share some of the blame because they PERMIT it. VALUE ADDED TAX ON FUEL SURCHARGE INDEEED!

BEC/BPL, whatever they call themselves are a national disgrace. The problem starts at the top. TOP, do something about it. I don't think you found the answers down in Grenada. Prove me wrong. Much talk about missing millions little talk and certainly no action viz a viz solving problems.

0

Seaman 1 year, 8 months ago

Anyone thinking a coup against management in BPL in Abaco? Don't like non-Bahamian masters.

0

Sign in to comment