By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT
HUNDREDS of homes in New Providence were without power for hours yesterday because of a “mechanical failure” at BPL.
Early yesterday morning, widespread power supplies were shut down in the eastern, central and western parts of the capital leaving many customers who work from home, due to COVID-19, literally “powerless”.
During the outage, BPL posted the following statement on its social media platforms.
“Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) is aware of outages in a number of areas as a result of mechanical failure. Our teams are currently addressing these incidences. Updates will follow.”
The Tribune contacted BPL’s director of communications Quincy Parker for further information, however he was awaiting word from engineers so he could not comment up to press time.
Melda Joseph lives in eastern New Providence, works at a private bank and works from home. She was in the middle of a Zoom meeting when the outage occurred.
“We had an early morning virtual meeting,” Ms Joseph said. “We were right into the meeting when, poof, the power goes off. I was so embarrassed. I tried to get back into the meeting on my telephone, but I wasn’t allowed back in. It’s insane that in 2021, BPL cannot keep the power on. It seems so backward.
“I had to write an email from my phone to advise the team what happened. This is so sad. Every time you think things are getting better at BPL, it takes several steps back into darkness, literally.”
Shortly before the outage occurred, BPL placed a notice on its Facebook page advising the public that it would be carrying out “overhead maintenance” exercises for four hours, starting at 9am. However this was separate from the widespread outage that occurred as the notice indicated that the only areas that would be affected were Rosebud Street east of Eden Street, Christopher Street and surrounding areas.
Over the past few years, BPL has spent millions of dollars on engines to boost up generation so that its customers would not have the inconvenience of power outages or load shedding. Although less frequent, the outages persist.
“I went straight to BPL’s Facebook page when my lights went off,” said Tamika Hall, a resident of central New Providence. “I saw where they said it was overhead maintenance. I called and asked if my area was included and they said no. They were quite rude, as a matter of fact, but I got the picture that the power cut was caused from something else.
“The inconvenience came because my little daughter is in virtual learning. When the lights went off, so did her class. I texted her teacher and told her what happened. She was having the same issues. All these promises from BPL and they still can’t get their act together.”
During intervals throughout the day, power was restored to most affected areas. BPL has apologised for the inconvenience caused and thanked its customers for their patience.