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Belco thanks retirees and volunteers

  • Belco restored power after numerous poles were downed by Hurricane Humberto, but salt deposits have led to more outages (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Former employees and overseas workers have helped to return power to Bermuda after Hurricane Humberto, a Belco representative said yesterday.

The spokesman said: “Thankfully, with the assistance of our retirees, as well as extra linemen from Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp, we have 75 per cent more linesmen working to restore electricity.”

He thanked all workers who had been “instrumental in getting the work done efficiently and safely” and said that the power provider “continues to make good progress in restoring power to our customers”.

The spokesman said that work continued on main branch lines and smaller pockets of outages across the island.

He added: “However, overgrown vegetation that was broken, uprooted and hitting power lines during the storm is making the restoration process much more time consuming, as it takes a few hours to reconnect small pockets of customers.

“In some cases, customers who have had their power restored will have it switched off temporarily so that other lines can be safely repaired.”

The spokesman said crews had also faced other setbacks.

He explained: “On Monday evening, there were a number of pole fires due to salt that had been deposited by Humberto, combined with a light rain, which knocked out power to a number of areas that had been restored.

“Dealing with these priority emergencies has slowed progress in planned restorations.”

The spokesman said that crews would continue to work from 8am to midnight to get power restored across the island.

He added: “As Tropical Storm Jerry approaches, Belco crews will work until the weather makes it unsafe to continue.

“Crews will be back out as soon as the storm passes and it is safe to recommence restoration.”

He said that preparations had been made for Jerry.

The spokesman explained: “Belco are replenishing supplies and equipment in staging areas across the island to prepare for any further damage to the grid.”