A violent storm yesterday smashed 26 GPL poles, left others dangling precariously and affected a key transmission link to East Berbice.
A GPL press release follows:
As a result of the storm on Sunday June 28, 2015 which affected the coastal lands in Demerara and Berbice, GPL’s primary and secondary networks sustained extensive damage. While the major effect of the stormy weather was the uprooting/breaking of both primary and secondary poles, the network was also affected by roof sheets and trees falling onto it.
A total of 21 broken poles have been recorded in Demerara while Berbice has recorded 5 thus far; in addition we have also confirmed 6 precariously leaning poles in Demerara and 1 in Berbice.
Consumers in the affected areas experienced outages and fluctuating voltage of varying durations whileemergency crews continue to effect repairs to the network.
Much success has been achieved since last evening as several communities were repowered, owing to the strengthening of emergency services by almost triple the usual number. Additionally, our Company received machinery support from the Management of Demerara Harbour Bridge and to this end we extend our appreciation.
The most critical confirmed report emanating in Berbice is a broken pole at Ithaca which supports a critical transmission line linking East and West Berbice thereby affecting East Berbice residents. The technical work required to replace this pole could not have been executed yesterday owing to the location of the pole and unfavorable weather conditions. However, works are ongoing and electricity should berestored by 18:00hrs today to those affected customers.
Crews are currently working along the East Bank Demerara corridors replacing damaged line hardware and securing leaning poles and replacing broken ones. This too is likely to be completed by 18:0hrs today.
Our approach to emergencies has been segmented into high risk and low risk for which we have distinct skilled crews to address same. Numerous crews are currently engaged in mopping up operations and addressing isolated cases where individual consumers may have had service interruption caused by the high winds while the very highly skilled crews are engaged in pole replanting and fixing damaged line hardware.
As work progresses today and during tomorrow, we solicit your patience and ask that you exercise due caution around fallen poles and lines. If you are experiencing abnormal voltages, please power off yourmain switch and call our emergency hotline. Our Emergency Services telephone numbers are: Berbice 333-2186; Demerara 2254015 or 2254016.