Information Officer II
Department of Information & Public Relations
The Minister of Communications and Works, Honourable Mark Vanterpool is pleased that a team has been deployed to assist Bahamas in its efforts of restoring electricity.
A three member team of linesmen from the British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) were deployed to the Bahamas on Friday October 9 to assist in restoring electricity in the aftermath of Hurricane Joaquin.
According to the Corporation, on Monday, October 5, the BVIEC was contacted by the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) to determine the availability of line crew to travel to the Island to assist the Bahamas Electric Company (BEC) in its restoration efforts.
The BVI contingent includes Mr. Donaldson Hamlet, Mr. Ronald Baird, Mr. Taryll DeSouza, and Mr. Irvin Percival who are all experienced linesmen highly skilled in line construction, troubleshooting faults and electricity safety aspects that occur during emergency situations. The team members have more than 50 years of experience and have assisted the Governments of Bahamas and Antigua and Barbuda in the past.
On arrival, the team will be dispatched to the Southern Bahamian Islands where approximately 5000 people were directly impacted by the category 4 hurricane. Access to these remote islands was restricted following the passage of Hurricane Joaquin due to major flooding and damage to airports, sea ports, roads and critical infrastructure. To date, many roads are still flooded and communication is by satellite phones only on the affected islands.
The Bahamas Electric Company has indicated that electricity has been interrupted in the affected islands, because of downed power poles and lines, and damage to generators. The corporation in a statement said, “damage has been reported and confirmed on the islands of Long Island, Rum Cay, Crooked Island, Acklins Island, San Salvador and Long Cay. Additional islands Exuma, Ragged Island, Cat Island, Mayaguana, and Inagua experienced damage and outages as a result of the storm, but local repair teams have either completed or are well advanced in the repair effort in those locations.”
Minister for Communications and works, Honourable Mark Vanterpool said, “It is a tragedy what has happened to our friends and family in the Bahamas. With our contingent team arriving later today, I am hopeful that their efforts will bring relief to the people and that our prayers keep them safe during the remainder of the hurricane season”
Several teams in the Territory, including the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Service, were sent to Dominica in September to aid in relief efforts due to the impact from Tropical Storm Erika. The storm left 13 dead, 17 missing, 20 injured and 574 persons homeless and millions of dollars in damage
Hurricane Joaquin became the tenth named storm of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Joaquin intensified rapidly to a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour and with a very slow forward motion pounding the islands of Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands and Haiti and leaving a trail of damage and destruction as a result of flooding, storm surge and high winds.