Pockets of New Providence left powerless amid exams, virtual classes

Pockets of New Providence left powerless amid exams, virtual classes
BPL technician services power line (FILE PHOTO)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Residents in numerous communities of New Providence were left powerless for hours yesterday as “inclement weather” affected Bahamas Power and Light’s (BPL) grid.

The power company has reported a series of sporadic outages in recent weeks, including an island-wide outage on September 11.

Just after 9am yesterday, BPL advised customers in Caves Village, Sea Beach Estate, Jireh Estates and Gamble Heights that a crew was en route to investigate reports of an outage, but was unable to give a restoration time.

According to the power company, those areas were restored just after 10am.

However, several residents in Gamble Heights, who said power was lost around 1am, claimed the outage persisted even after BPL’s statement.

In a second statement just after noon, the power provider advised its customers in areas, including Winton, East Street South, Ernest Street, Sea Breeze, Imperial Park, Blue Hill Road South, north and south of Soldier Road, and University Drive that “inclement weather conditions have resulted in a loss of power”.

BPL confirmed it was a “lightning strike”.

It said its teams were working to restore power and pointed out the outage had not affected the entire island.

Shortly before 1pm, the power company said electricity had been restored to East Street South, Abundant Life, Musha Hill, Blue Hill Road North and Earnest Street.

Just after 1pm, BPL advised Wulff Road, Winton and Lyford Cay feeders were back online.

Several business and government institutions were impacted by the outage.

Numerous residents took to social media to voice their concern over the frequent outages, despite the purchase of new generators.

“Fifth time this month power’s gone off and y’all want us to believe it’s because of the weather conditions,” said Facebook user Christie Sweeting.

“Village Road as well. Your new generators ain’t waterproof…?

Samantha Samuel lamented the impact on students attending virtual school.

“So you have students depending on electricity and Internet for classes and national exams, but have the power off in the middle of the day?” she said.

“Get it together please.”

Meanwhile, New Providence resident Ash Henderson said: “I understand things happen, but it’s frustrating that it took 30 [minutes] for the first update, 25 [minutes] more for the second, and now radio silence for the last 100 minutes.

“An update, even just that work is continuing in specific areas, would be appreciated.”

However, there were some who were more understanding and acknowledged a lightning strike was outside of BPL’s control.

Jennie Roberts commented: “Lightning might be to thank for this. It was bad lightning my way. [I] was almost ready to turn my own power off.”

Taylor Geux, another Facebook user, said it was the third consecutive day Hillside Park residents were without power.

“Third day in a row at exactly the same time Hillside park has been off,” he said.

“Now y’all saying inclement weather. Yesterday, and the day before it was a car accident [and the] pole. It ain’t even raining hard out here man.”

BPL said yesterday’s weather delayed repairs to a broken pole caused by a car accident

It apologized for the inconvenience.

L’Oreal Sweeting, a Pine Yard Road resident, said she has lost power eight times in recent days.

“Why is it that our light always turns off seemingly more than other areas?” she asked. “Children are missing school, important meetings are being missed on a near consistent basis. What exactly is the issue?”