I’M DREAMING OF A LIGHTS-ON CHRISTMAS: Power outages sweep island ahead of holiday


Tribune Staff Reporters

A WIDESPREAD power outage struck New Providence yesterday due to a cable fault at Bahamas Power and Light’s Big Pond substation, leaving many residents without electricity for hours and delaying flights at Lynden Pindling International Airport.


Paul Maynard

When contacted about the problem, Bahamas Electrical Workers Union President Paul Maynard said it was a case of BPL’s aging equipment breaking down. He told The Tribune: “It’s a miracle we get through the summer.”

BPL released a statement after 7pm about the incident which said a cable fault developed around 2.47pm that caused power outages to portions of central, north and west New Providence. BPL said affected areas included Albany, Paradise Island, Gladstone Road, Grove West, Cable Beach, East Hill, Collins Avenue, Grants Town and Big Pond.

BPL said generation had been restored to more than 50 percent of affected customers and apologised for the inconvenience.

BPL also said the company’s goal is to provide power at the lowest rates possible.

The power failure left many people irate. “Might as well say power is off island-wide because that’s everywhere basically,” one person said.

Adding to frustration was that electricity flickered on and off intermittently throughout the day, causing some to fear the brown outs would damage appliances.

The issue caused panic at LPIA where hopeful passengers reacted angrily to misinformation that flights were cancelled for the day.

“The Lynden Pindling International Airport wishes to advise the public that air traffic services to the airport were impacted by a loss of communications at approximately 3pm this afternoon due to power outage,” LPIA said in a statement posted to its Facebook page around 5pm. “Flights scheduled to depart LPIA at that time were delayed. We are reliably informed that the matter has been resolved and air traffic services have resumed for all flights.”

Mr Maynard said the outage was predictable.

“I keep telling y’all,” he said. “BPL in bad shape. Our situation is terrible. Only the Almighty God keeping you on now. We have aging equipment that need to be upgraded. It is what it is. I telling you it’s a miracle we get through the summer.”

When contacted, BPL Chairman Dr Donovan Moxey did not provide much information.

“We had an incident at Big Pond substation and we are working as quickly as possible to fix the issue,” Mr Moxey said yesterday afternoon, adding BPL would release a statement on the matter.

New Providence residents have had to suffer through periodic power cuts this year, as in previous years, because BPL has grappled to keep the lights on.

In mid-October, it was reported that fault on a BPL cable left customers in western New Providence with no electricity for several hours on a Saturday night.

Prior to that, there were intermittent outages in different areas earlier in the month.

There were also periodic outages earlier in the year.



limeyconch 5 years, 5 months ago

Why would LPIA be disrupted? They have two large stand by automatic generator units on premise?

DDK 5 years, 5 months ago

Possible because THEY do not keep the generators properly maintained??

DDK 5 years, 5 months ago

This government needs to stop wasting money on itself and giving it away to all and sundry in the hopes of securing future votes and do what is necessary, be it with respect to equipment, personnel or both, to KEEP THE POWER ON! This is more than sickening. When is it going to be THE REAL PEOPLE'S TIME? Changing its operating name from BEC to BPL was a huge waste of money and an exercise in futility.

Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 5 months ago

These island wide outages are guaranteed to continue as long as Maynard remains union leader. LMAO

stocktonfuller 5 years, 5 months ago

How's that "deal" with New Providence Advisers working for you?

DonAnthony 5 years, 5 months ago

This is no way to run a country. My flight cancelled, tourists missing connecting flights. With no compensation from Bahamasair.

TalRussell 5 years, 5 months ago

Why comrade customers encouraged trust word crown minster Desmond to rush in pay 25% outstanding balances on their BPL bills to have their 'current' be reconnected - still won't solve their no lights and fridges turned off christmas problems. { Shouldn't be making people's 'current turned off' christmas misery up }.

John 5 years, 5 months ago

Once the country joins the WTO and becomes compliant with Standard and Poors, there will be no more power outages. Ask KP and Laing.

SP 5 years, 5 months ago

For once I agree with a Paul Maynard statement: “It’s a miracle we get through the summer.”

With the Islands main power plant at Cliffton Pier out of service and Blue Hills station overburdened pulling the slack, this Island-wide power outage is an inevitable tip of the iceberg of what is most definitely on the horizon and with many more soon to come!

Anyone ignorant enough to believe that BPL can reliably supply power to the Island for sustained periods with the islands main power plant off-grid needs to have their heads examined.

The only real surprise here is that BPL is still in operation at all!!!

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