BELCO: 3,429 Without Power, Linemen Arriving

October 21, 2014

[Updated] According to the latest report by BELCO, as of 9.00am today [Oct 21], approximately 3,429 customers remain without power, down from over 31,000 directly after Hurricane Gonzalo, and linemen from Caribbean electric utility companies will begin arriving today to work alongside BELCO crews.

The geographic breakdown of remaining outages includes 1,177 in Central, 103 in the City of Hamilton, 1,393 in the East, and 756 in the West.

A BELCO spokesperson said, “Each day, crews will be given a list of areas where the day’s work will start. There is a lot of damage, including downed lines, poles and transformers, and a lot of vegetation and other debris to deal with.

“Some of these jobs will be completed quickly, while others will take the entire day, and may even extend into the following day. We will continue to update the work list, as some areas are restored and additional jobs are tackled.

“We do have a crew with contractors dedicated to pole replacement, while other crews are out scouting and dealing with jobs that can be quicker fixes.

“In addition, linemen from Caribbean electric utility companies begin arriving today, coordinated by CARILEC. CARILEC does not send crews in advance of storms, only in response to storms once damage has been assessed and a work plan developed – this is because we are drawing resources away from other electric utility companies.”

BELCO’s Denton Williams speaking on the restoration effort yesterday [Oct 20]:

“CARILEC crews will be working on small, low-voltage line jobs, supervised by BELCO staff, who know our system.

“The areas where crews will be working today are Cove Valley, Ferry Reach, Emily’s Bay Lane, Devil’s Hole to Harrington Hundreds, South Shore, Smiths, Jennings Land, Shark Hole Hill, North Shore, Shelly Bay, St. John’s Hill, Admiralty House, Bluck Point Road, Places Point, Seabright, Paget, Ess Hill, Cobbs Hill, South Shore, West, and Spring Benny/Broken Hill.

“Please note that there is a lot of damage in some of these areas, so work will be slow-going. Also, although an area is restored, small pockets of customers or individual customers may still be without power in the area, depending on damage.

“These jobs will put on relatively small numbers of customers with each job completion – probably 75 customers or less with each job.

“Some of these jobs include work on main roads – the Regiment will be working alongside BELCO to direct traffic at the most difficult locations. Motorists are urged to exercise caution and to obey the Regiment’s traffic direction, so that no one is injured on the road in the course of doing this work.”

For all our coverage of Hurricane Gonzalo click here, and for our live blog where we are bringing you continuous live coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Gonzalo click here.

Update 3.29pm: BELCO said, “At 3:00 PM, numbers have not changed substantially, as work on the areas listed this morning is ongoing. We do expect to see a change tonight at the conclusion of work. We will provide a new list in the morning. In addition to the work listed, we do have crews working on quick fixes and emergencies, and the CARILEC crews will support these efforts.

“Some customers who have had power restored will find that it goes out again temporarily, either for a short time or an hour or more. This is the result of our control centre switching to restore power to additional customers.

“We have heard that the community is concerned that we have reached out to the 1,500 customers who have not had electricity since Tropical Storm Fay. We apologize if this has caused any concern. We are doing this only so that when we get down to smaller jobs – which all of the 1500 were – we will be able to try to prioritize those who have been without power longest.

“We are not guaranteeing that this can be done. Damage and logistics may, indeed, make prioritization impossible in some cases. Also, please note, we are reconciling the emails and phone calls that come in with the information in our system to ensure that the customers on the Fay 1500 list are truly customers who have been without power since the first storm.

“Another note – for customers with partial power: if lights are not going ‘bright and dim’, then there is no danger, but it is advisable to unplug sensitive electronics that could be damaged. If lights are going bright and dim, please report the situation.”

Update 5.02pm: Due to flight delays the majority of CARILEC crews will arrive tomorrow, only 2 able to make it this evening

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  1. List Of Areas BELCO Crews To Work On Today - Bernews.com : Bernews.com | October 22, 2014
  1. Today is Tuesday and I say B.E.LC.O has done a extremely excellent job in restoring electricity,from a storm just over a week and a hurricane that took the Island out exactly one week later, and now out of 35,000 plus we are restored down to just over 3000 to go, this is to be commended, and B.E.L.C.O we are truly grateful to all of the workers out on the field, all of the planning and strategist teams in behind the walls ans everyone who helps to make this happen in one way or the other, Thank You.

    • David Henry says:

      I wonder if you’d be singing the same tune if you’ve been out for 10 days and counting.

      • The Forgotten says:

        I listened to the news last night via my battery powered radio.

        A Belco spokesman keept referring to the “Fay 1500″ and that they have basically no clue as to when those individuals who lost power 10 days ago will be back up and running.

        I am one of those “Fay 1500″. I have not had power for 10 days. I have contacted Belco almost daily and I get the same response from Belco when I ask when I will get my power back, “I dunno ma’am”.

        The “Fay 1500″ are in reality the “Forgotten 1500″. Belco have not done anything to resolve our power outages. They have been unresponsive and uncaring. I am sure all of us have contacted Belco repeatedly as I have. I have yet to see a Belco employee near my outage location.

        We are a very frustrated and angry 1500. We all have to go to work and are expected to go about our daily business. That is difficult to do when basic necessities such as flushing toilets and running water have been denied to us. Belco should be ashamed of how they have treated us.

      • We were out for 6 weeks during Emily and this is not to be compared to Emily, this was a direct hit and then B.E.L.C.O, could not get everyone up and running in such a fast manner, the just of the fact is we have seen the restoration of more then 30,000 plus out of 36,000, so that is to be commended is the point, and all this in less then 72 hours after the hurricane, and instead of complaining about what you don’t have, just be thankful for what you do have and the fact that you came out of this with your very own life.

        • David Henry says:

          Who’s complaining? I’m just stating the FACT that you would not be praising BELCO if you were still out of power for 1.5 weeks and counting.

          • sir i give thank’s for when I am without and when I have, for the record,I have done without so long that I do appreciate all of the little I do have, don’t judge a book by reading just the cover, my story will make your head hurt, but in spite of my personal position I am grateful because I know there are those in the world who is a lot worst of then me, I am grateful for life.

            • David Henry says:

              Agreed… there’s always those who have it worse. Just the fact that we are alive in beautiful Bermuda–even with these inconveniences– means we have it better than a lot of people on the planet. It is important we give thanks for life. I know there are many who can’t wait until they can give thanks for life AND electricity again. Good night good sir.

    • Still Without Lights! says:

      You must have electricity to be saying that.

    • Stella Groove says:

      Obviously posted by a person who has had power restored. As one of the “Fay 1500″ who has watched people around her have power restored TWICE while sitting in the dark on day 10, I’m not so complimentary. BELCO’s line crews are to be commended for their hard work. BELCO management has a lot to answer for. Firstly, one look at some of the equipment that has come down shows a lack of regular maintenance on BELCO’s part, and poles that are rotten at their bases that never stood a chance. No one at BELCO will speak directly, in person, to the FAY 1500, we’re repeatedly asked to “provide information” on our outages (obviously no one is keeping a track of the numerous reports already submitted) and some of BELCO’s responses to comments/queries on their facebook page are downright rude.

      • Tam says:

        I agree wholeheartedly with you S.G.. I am also one of the Fay 1500 and while I can admit that BELCO is doing a great job, I can also say that having gone without power since the early hours of October 12…it is VERY frustrating to have to deal with. I am very grateful to be alive and well YES! But just as the rest of you (who have power) enjoy having it…those of us who still don’t would like to as well. Especially when some (if not all of us) are hardworking people who pay for the service. And no I don’t neccessarily mean for the electronic entertainment…that part I can do without as I’m sure many others can as well. But to be able to store food…to be able to cook food(for those of us without gas ovens)…to not have to travel elsewhere to get a hot bath. Don’t get me wrong because BELCO teams are working very hard but it is frustrating. So please dont make comment or judge if you arent going through it people

  2. Ord Road says:

    BELCO – Kindly fix our power (PLEASE!) (Witchery Lane) a transformer is gone – thank you kindly in advance!

  3. Islander says:

    Commended? For the amount they charge and the profit they see yearly I think this should expected. Ever wondered why the old base never loses power. We still have a very outdated power system and the amount they will spend over the next few years repairing broken poles and such from storms and what not would more then likely justify the cost of going underground. Imagine we was a country that suffered from excessive heat or cold. Some people have been with out power going on two weeks now.

  4. Everett gibson says:

    I would like to say that the hardest thing for my wife and myself was being away from bermuda and having family there during the hurricane.Thank god they are all safe.Never underestimate the power of prayer.We did a lot of praying for not only our family but for all the people of our island.I would like to commend premier dunkley for making a decision to close the island down and for having all the emergency services ready.I would also like to say that being a senior citizen I get upset when I listen to politicians from both sides of the house arguing over the most minor things when the most important thing is to try and make things better for all the people of bermuda.I think a lot of seniors are thinking that since Louise Jackson passed away we have no one to champion our cause.If the people of bermuda can pull together to rebuild Bermuda after a hurricane as I have seen many times then why the hell can’t the politicians pull together to make things better for all of us.To the politicians I say stop trying to advance your political positions and get on we the process of making our island better for all bermudians.

  5. Islander says:

    Commended? For the amount they charge and the profit they see yearly I think this should be expected. Ever wondered why the old base never loses power. We still have a very outdated power system and the amount they will spend over the next few years repairing broken poles and such from storms and what not would more then likely justify the cost of going underground. Imagine we was a country that suffered from excessive heat or cold. Some people have been with out power going on two weeks now.

  6. somuchless says:

    I wondered why the crew did not arrive prior to the hurricane, however reading the statement my question was answered. Thank you to everyone at BELCO.

    As an island, we’re recovering pretty fast which is remarkable and can’t be done without all hands on deck.

  7. Paget says:

    Still no power since Fay and no response to calls or emails to info@belco…not sure what is wrong and not sure when it will be restored. Dissapointed and sad :-(

  8. Dudley Hill Gentleman says:

    I see Belco trucks everwhere but around our neighborhood that has been out for 10 days and counting. Sad state of affairs.

  9. Codfish and Potatoes says:

    I am also not impressed with the collapse of the infrastructure that occurs after even minor storms. Unlike wealthy people, I cannot afford a generator and I have lost everything in my refrigerator and continue to suffer without water and the basics. I live less that a half mile from BELCO and there are no poles or major damage that I can see and the street lights are on! As Dudley Hill says:”Sad state of affairs.”

    • 10 days and counting says:

      BELCO should be considering giving food vouchers – especially to those who are struggling. Hopefully we will all have significantly reduced BELCO bills this month.

      • Belco Bill Ha Ha says:

        I got my e-bill today. It is “estimated bill” it says on the invoice, as the meter is not working and they cannot get the reading! Guess what, it is 50$ more than prior month. Great Estimation belco. That’s what happens when there is ONLY 1 service provider. They can do whateever they want. What are you going to do? I got a reply to my email to info@belco. I was asked to “make alternate arrangements for my family”. Wonderful customer service.

  10. Pearman's Hill says:

    How long does it take to replace a transformer? There are a lot of senior citizens and children on this hill. Any estimate of time for the repairs?

    • patience says:

      Ah it takes time. My relative has been working day and night, his wife and kids are home alone while he is out trying to make sure the Bermudian people have lights. Of course if your lights are out Belco are the worse lot of folks right now but trust me they are working hard and for you to type and email like this is an insult. We just had a Hurricane come through which took out lots of areas. Just in our area we watched from our porch as these guys worked all through the night. I would rather they had some rest so they did their jobs well or would you rather they raced it and then we had other issues , line fires etc????? There is no pleasing the spoiled Bermudian is it?

      • PBanks says:

        With a handle of ‘patience’, one would expect your response to be a bit warmer to someone who’s a bit frustrated with the situation, instead of throwing out terms like “spoiled Bermudian” to somebody that’s expressing concern for senior citizens and children.

        There’s absolutely no doubt that the Belco line crews are pulling their weight over the past several days; the crew including your relative deserve every platitude they can get for a demanding (and dangerous, if rushed) activity. But let’s show more compassion and less anger towards those who are struggling without electricity right now.

        • Maybe... says:

          I think the point is that there are seniors and children everywhere, they are not concentrated in one area. The Belco crews are doing the best they can. I am without power, but feel as though I cannot complain since I see the crews working hard when I drive home late at night. They’ll get to me when they can.

        • patience says:

          @PBanks, spoiled is absolutely right. We have seniors in our area and have extended drinks, cleanup and generator. They are the ones that appear to be very patient. They say one day at a time and we have our life so the lights come on when they come on! That came directly from a senior that we are helping out. Belco crew are awesome and doing a great job.

  11. WatchDogs says:

    You would think Rest Homes would be a high priority.. Well think again! Matilda Smith Rest Home has been out since Thursday 2:15 pm. Also it was out when Faye swept through for 3 days. Its ridiculous what those elderly people have to go through. I live in the neighborhood, but since I have family members that have power. I’m staying with them. And that area isn’t even on today’s power restoration list. SMH!

    • Scan Horizon says:

      Thank you BELCO for listening! The Matilda Smith Rest Home area is currently in the process of having the power restored.

  12. 10 days and counting says:

    Not impressed with BELCO management and their communication to those without power – especially to the “Fay 1500″. Communication is all we are asking for and to speak to someone rather than a phone recording or sending email to “info”@belco.bm – I don’t think info is a person and seems like they are sending a standard one liner to everyone who is emailing that address. I am now believing all the rumours I hear about running out of parts….there is something they aren’t telling us. All these people commending BELCO for their efforts have electricity. Agree, the line men should be commended but management/communications team should not be as they are doing a horrible job at truthfully informing their customers.

  13. Oh Vey! says:

    i got power back last night and celebrated, but woke up to it gone again! what the heck?!!? talk about a cruel insult. fridge of new food wasted again without warning from belco, and now almost 12 hours no power still, since getting it back! belco care don’t care, in person. you’d have a greater chance finding a flying unicorn than getting hold of one of the care staff on the phone. i have wasted like $15 in cell phone calls and never once got to speak to someone or got any answers. i go there in person, staff seemed very apathetic and ignored all my important questions i had. i left with no answers after waiting in person for ages. their phone system does not tell you the true waiting time, and will get your hopes up for a huge let down over and over.
    i own shares in belco and my family worked there but i am still treated like this and left one week no power, given it back and then it ganked back just a short while later!!
    oy vey!

    “press 1 if you would like to hold for the next available agent…..”

  14. Oh Vey! says:

    i just waited literally 15 minutes on the phone (again), nobody picked up. can they expect people to wait this long? in professional business, it is forbidden to tell your paying customer, “sorry we are too busy”.
    so if belco is professional how come they are so busy apparently – and not apathetic? – to the point they cannot answer?

  15. Sunshine says:

    Thank you for your hard work BELCO. It hasn’t been easy dealing with the aftermath from both back-to-back storms. There’s always unexpected problems to solve to get people back on-line but how you have been working non-stop to get the majority of our island home running is commendable. Any other country, it would be weeks before seeing results. We are all blessed!

    • Maybe... says:

      How are there so many dislikes for this? Unless they are from individuals who are also working day and night, they should be ashamed of themselves.

  16. Dudley Hill Gentleman says:

    “community is concerned that we have reached out to the 1,500 customers who have not had electricity since Tropical Storm Fay” – great community spirit! We should be proud of ourselves! Why prioritize customers who have been out of power and water for 9 days where possible?? I have been out for 2 days and I need my internet now!

  17. Belco Bill Ha Ha says:

    I got my e-bill today. It is “estimated bill” it says on the invoice, as the meter is not working and they cannot get the reading! Guess what, it is 50$ more than prior month. Great Estimation belco. That’s what happens when there is ONLY 1 service provider. They can do whateever they want. What are you going to do? I got a reply to my email to info@belco. I was asked to “make alternate arrangements for my family”. Wonderful customer service.

  18. Scan Horizon says:

    Thank you BELCO for listening! The Matilda Smith Rest Home area is currently in the process of having the power restored.

  19. BELCO is a Joke says:

    I am highly disgusted with BELCO and their “prioritization”campaign. Last I checked making people a priority did not involve bumping them to the back of the line all over again. People who had power restored this time last week after Fay, have their power again as I type. While I and almost all of the “Fay 1500″ are still in darkness. You can say what you want about being grateful but trust me gratefulness goes out of the window when you hit double digit days without electricity.

    Belco is just trying to get people off their backs so they keep mentioning the Fay 1500 like they truly give a crap. Just turn my lights back on, and I better not get an “estimate” bill either.

  20. Ringmaster says:

    I’m sure BELCO is doing its best, but it is very frustrating when one lives in an area that is highlighted as being one of the areas they are working in and for 2 days not one BELCO truck has been seen. Surely they can be more specific with their information? They must know who is out and which circuits will be coming on line.

  21. aceboy says:

    My heart goes out to anyone who is still without power. That sucks.

    But, I can console you in one way and in one way only:

    Imagine if Belco was nationalised.

    There….I said it.

    Hope you guys get power soon.

  22. TSOL says:

    No where else in the world would you have power on to the majority of population four days after a direct hit by CAT 3 hurricane. That being said in a small place like Bermuda it can be maddening to look across the road and see your neighbors with power. My neighborhood’s power came on last night, but two houses don’t have power, and as you would think they are very distressed.

  23. J.J. says:

    Was driving past Matilda Smith Rest Home on my way home from work just before midnight and spotted a Belco truck and workers up the telegraph poles toiling away while the majority of Bermuda are in their beds! Thank you to the workmen out all hours of the day/night restoring power! Thank you!

  24. Think... says:

    Just a thought…there are quite a number of retired and or former workers of BELCO that are not working or under employed who would love the chance to help out the community. Why did BELCO go overseas for workers when there are quite a number of former workers sitting in the dark in BDA? Think…no plane tickets, hotels, per diems, etc for former BELCO workers who would be more than proud to come out and help the community especially the FAY 1500! Just my two cents…

    • Maybe... says:

      How would BELCO know that there are ‘quite a number’ of people here who are able to assist? Did these individuals call in and offer to help but were turned away? Doubt it.

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