CASTRIES, St. Lucia, October 27th, 2016 – The Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) is currently coordinating a team of thirty-five (35) linemen from seven (7) of its Full Member utilities to help rebuild the electrical power network of the Bahamas Power and Light Company (BPL) in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, following damages inflicted by Hurricane Matthew.
The CARILEC Secretariat, which is known for its coordination of regional relief efforts to its member utilities in the aftermath of natural disasters, promptly activated its CARILEC Disaster Assistance Programme (CDAP) following receipt of an official request from BPL on Friday October 7th, 2016. BPL reported a loss of electrical power to eighty percent (80%) of its customers as a result of damages caused to its electrical power network by Matthew.
Based on the need for efficiency and cost effectiveness of the coordinated effort, the following seven (7) Full Member utilities were chosen from among those that were earmarked to provide manpower assistance: The Caribbean Utilities Company Limited (CUC); the British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation (BVIEC); the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited; the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL); the Dominica Electricity Services Limited (DOMLEC); the Barbados Light and Power Company Limited (BLPC); and the Grenada Electricity Services Limited (GRENLEC). Additionally, it is worth noting that the Bermuda Electric Light Company (BELCO) offered to assist, however, cognizant that they were preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Nicole, the CARILEC Secretariat made the decision to exclude them from the relief efforts.
Based on the findings of the damage assessment, the CARILEC line crews have been deployed in New Providence and Andros islands and are engaged in the rebuilding of the damaged HV and LV networks, including the reconnection of service lines. The CARILEC Secretariat is committed to the well-being of its linemen crew and has assigned Assistant Managers and Foremen to work with each team to oversee the completion of repairs and ensure safety.
The Full Member utilities of CARILEC are committed to working together, coordinating their resources and strengthening infrastructure to mitigate the effects of hurricanes and other adverse weather conditions.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service has predicted: 12-17 named storms, 5 to 8 of which would become hurricanes and 2 to 4 major hurricanes, for the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Hurricane Matthew was the fifth named hurricane of the season which will end on November 30th, 2016.