Abaco reconstruction awaits energy return


Tribune Business Reporter


Abaco’s Chamber of Commerce president said post-Hurricane Dorian reconstruction is “proceeding at pace” despite the continued wait for electricity supplies to be restored to Central Abaco.

Ken Hutton told Tribune Business: “Reconstruction is proceeding at pace. We have been very lucky in that there are no (COVID-19) cases in Abaco, and the relaxation on construction to resume in full has been very helpful.

“The biggest issue right now is the amount of work that still remains to be done in terms of debris removal and, more than anything, electricity. We have been going on eight-plus months in Central Abaco with no electricity and no water.”

Disputing Bahamas Power & Light’s (BPL) earlier assertions that significant portions central Abaco have seen the restoration of electricity services, particularly the areas of Central Pines and Spring City, Mr Hutton said: “That is not accurate according to me, because I live in central Abaco, and I have no power. My business is in central Abaco and I have no power.

“I’m looking at all of these buildings and they have no power. Nobody has power in central Abaco with the exception of the government buildings, Maxwell’s Superstore, I believe Boat Harbour, and one small subdivision. The cays have no power with the exception of Green Turtle Cay. No, Central Abaco still has no power.”

Mr Hutton acknowledged that BPL was struggling for manpower given that the border closures in response to the virus crisis have prevented work crews from overseas energy providers coming into help.

He added: “If they would get the power put in I think they would find some demand. With that said, I know they are scrapping for personnel. They don’t have a lot of crews here. They are working as quickly as they can. However, the COVID-19 has put a crimp on them bringing in additional help.

“Premier Importers has been absolutely smashed all week with building materials. When I said I know the construction is continuing really hard, I know because I am one of the main suppliers of construction materials here.”


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