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Abaco Suffers Power Crisis

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

A weekend-long power outage sparked by a blown pump was yesterday said to have caused “havoc” for Abaco and its tourist economy.

Residents and persons who spent the weekend on Abaco said the island was being subjected to ‘rolling blackouts’ of two hours with power, then four hours without, as Bahamas Power & Light (BPL) worked to speed up the arrival of a replacement part from Arizona.

Abaco was without power “all day Friday”, and islanders once again predicted dire consequences for its second home and tourist-based economy, with visitors said to be “leaving left, right and centre”.

“The power in Abaco went from 8am Friday morning,” one Abaconian, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Tribune. “It was out all-day Friday. Since then it’s been on for two hours, off for four hours.

“We have tourists leaving left, right and centre; they’ve had enough. This is prime time for tourism in Abaco and it’s creating havoc here. They need to get it sorted.”

Mike Lightbourn, Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty’s president, who had just returned to Nassau after spending a weekend in Abaco, described the power outages as “a pain in the a”.

“We had two hours on, four hours off,” he said. “Those who don’t have stand-by generators are in trouble. The restaurant where I had breakfast this morning had to leave the door open and couldn’t do certain things because of the lack of electricity.

“The quicker they get it fixed, the better. I’m sure places like Hope Town, where it would have been hopping with people, it makes it more difficult for them. It’s something that happens a lot and just upsets people.”

A posting from The Abaconian newspaper, shared on social media among residents, said BPL officials were blaming the power outages on a blown cooling system pump at the island’s Wilson City power plant.

McMahon Campbell, a BPL communications officer, said this resulted in “a complete shut down” of BPL’s main power generation facility on the island on Friday.

He revealed that the incident happened just after the replacement pump, which had been ordered months ago, left the Arizona supplier to make its way to the Bahamas. It had been ordered to replace the current, blown part, and was said to be “custom made to be a better fit for Abaco’s systems”.

Mr Campbell said a special flight had been arranged to bring the two 3,000 pound pumps, one of which will be a back-up, to Abaco. The flight was expected to arrive at 11pm last night, and BPL is hoping to resolve the situation by this afternoon.

Alive to the reputational damage and fall-out, BPL last night announced a meeting tonight at Abaco’s Anglican Parish Hall at which it will “discuss the incident over the weekend and plans for the summer”.

“In an effort to serve you better, the chief operating officer (Christina Alston) and BPL team wants to address your concerns,” the notice read.

Comments

TheMadHatter 7 months ago

Why does the tone of this article - esp. the first three paragraphs - make it sound like this crisis is over?

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ohdrap4 7 months ago

it is not. i understand marsh habour has not had power since 1.30 pm this afternoon.

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Seaman 7 months ago

As a Abaconian and a FNM.......I would like to know where the hell is our PM in.a crisis time like now?..... It seems he in in above his head. Not a word to the people of Abaco on the Incompetent and crooked ,liers at BEC.......Shame on him. Out of his very mouth...Incompetence will be terminated.....well do the job you boosted you will do.The FNM seems to be out of touch with reality. The good people of Abaco are rumbling. What say you Bro Tal.

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DDK 7 months ago

I understand he was seen in a Marsh Harbour supermarket on Saturday.......

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DWW 7 months ago

PM was at the MOW flea market all day, what rock you under seaman?

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Seaman 7 months ago

By the way ....the Tribune is out of touch.....they need to do some ground work.... They seem to be clueless as to the situation with the electricity Send somebody who can read and.write and understands English.

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sheeprunner12 7 months ago

Why does the Government not sell off each BPL island facility and let them privatise it??? ...... I will bet that a privatised Abaconian BPL facility will be more efficient than a public corporation that is burdened by Unions and deadweight workers. ...... at least think about it.

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DDK 7 months ago

BEC/BPL on any island will never function properly as long as it is operated by a Bahamas Government and its overpaid, lackadaisical staff who are in it for as much overtime as they can squeeze out of the tax payers. I say auction it or each island facility off to the highest properly vetted bidder and the sooner the better..

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TheMadHatter 7 months ago

Seaman, you know full well that the PM flew to Abaco right after the Mud fire. This present crisis does not affect Haitians - they use generators on the regular....all the time. They have the same power today that they had last week.

No Haitian have problem? No problem.

F oreign

N ationals

M ultiply

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Seaman 7 months ago

Mad........The jokers at BEC tried to blame everyone in the PLP for the situation here in Abaco. I don't know where the PM head is ..........people are ready for war....The two people here talking for BEC are number one a$$ kissers....dumb as a bucket of rocks. just think ...I supported this lousy PM.....money and ground work.....went into the heartland of PLP country for him and the FMN.....and he sends two jokers who have all the wrong answers.

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juju 7 months ago

MOST Abaconians are hard working people with a good thing going in a very special part of the Bahamas. Isn’t it so very sad that the few things that Abaconians look to the gov’t for, FAILS them? Security, safety, and electricity.... Gov’t has it’s hands full in Nassau,but please support the needs of our Family Islands Dr. Minnis.

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Bonefishpete 7 months ago

If all them foreigners would pay their fair share of property tax and quit complaining then maybe they could pay for reliable power station, yea right.

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OldFort2012 7 months ago

Where have you people been living for the past 50 years? On Mars? How can it be news to anyone that there is a power cut in the Bahamas??? Have none of you heard of generators????

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