30,700 Lose Power At Peak Of Hurricane

October 17, 2014

[Updating] With Hurricane Gonzalo having completed its pass over Bermuda, BELCO is working to restore power to the thousands of customers currently without it.

At 9.00pm, approximately 13,022 customers were without power due to Gonzalo. There were 30,700 out right after the storm, meaning that 17,678 have been restored so far.

BELCO – Bermuda’s sole electricity provider — services around 36,000 metered connections.

St. George’s during Hurricane Gonzalo:

BELCO previously said, “Due to the amount of damage that remained on BELCO’s system after Tropical Storm Fay, with Hurricane Gonzalo approaching, the decision was made that BELCO will not restore power during the storm.

“Unfortunately, anyone who loses power during the storm will be without power until the restoration process begins. Immediately after the storm, BELCO will begin to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Gonzalo, and will then begin power restoration in the following manner: main circuits, large branch lines, small branch lines, individual customers.”


“Main circuits must be back on in order to restore power to other customers, and in most cases, large branch lines must be on in order to restore small branch lines, and they must be on in order to reach individual low-voltage lines.”

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

Update 10.02pm: As of 10.00pm, BELCO reports that approximately 30,600 customers without power across the island.

Update 12.01am: A BELCO spokesperson said, “At 12.01am, BELCO reports that with the resumption of hurricane force winds, the number of customers without power has increased slightly to approximately 30,700 [about 100 more than an hour ago].

“This is the majority of customers.

“At this time, BELCO would like to thank the community for your patience over the past week, as power was restored to about 26,000 customers, after 27,500 were left without power following Tropical Storm Fay. We are mindful that the 1500 customers who did not have power restored before Hurricane Gonzalo arrived will be feeling particularly frustrated.

“We assure you that BELCO will be doing everything possible in the days ahead to restore power as quickly as possible, helping the community to get back to normal. We will bring you regular updates on progress, including the arrival of CARILEC linemen from Barbados, British Virgin Islands and Dominica to assist with restoration.

“In the meantime, we urge everyone to continue putting safety first as the clean-up begins.”

Update Oct 18 11.30am: A BELCO spokesperson said, “At 11.30am, approximately 26,775 customers remain without power with the following geographic distribution: 10,290 in Central, 845 in City of Hamilton, 6950 in East, and 8690 in West.”

Update Oct 18 12.00pm: A BELCO spokesperson said, “At 12.00pm, approximately 26,180 customers remain without power with the following geographic distribution: 10,395 in central, 850 in the City of Hamilton, 6240 in East, and 8695 in West.”

Update Oct 18 12.30pm: A BELCO spokesperson said, “At 12.30pm, approximately 25,410 customers without power, and a total 45 circuits are still out, down from 66 when Hurricane Gonzalo ended.”

Update Oct 18 2.00pm: A BELCO spokesperson said, “At 2.00pm, the number of customers without power stands at approximately 24,370, with numbers continuing to fluctuate with switching, as circuits are opened and closed to effect restoration.”

Update Oct 18 3.00pm: A BELCO spokesperson said, “Restoration continues with 20,850 customers without power.”

Update Oct 18 6.20pm: A BELCO spokesperson said, “At 6.00pm, scouting has been going on since first light this morning to identify system damage. In addition, people across the island have supplied photos with locations, showing downed lines, poles, and transformers.

“The system survey is not yet complete, and it will include aerial reconnaissance facilitated by HMS Argyll’s helicopter. At this time, assessment has identified: 70 poles down and 36 pole-top transformers that must be replaced. We want the community to understand that there is a great deal of work to be done.

“After the initial main circuits and large branch lines are restored, enabling us to feed smaller branch lines and individual customers, the pace of work is likely to slow, as crews begin replacing poles and transformers, and the lines associated with them.

“We will provide a more information about this when the system survey is complete.

“The number of customers without power at this time is approximately 18,685.”

Update Oct 8.40pm: At 8.00pm, approximately 15,289 customers are without power and 23 main circuits remain to be restored.”

Update 9.35pm: A BELCO spokesperson said, “At 9.00pm, the approximate number of customers without power has reduced to 13,022, which is down from over 31,000 immediately after Hurricane Gonzalo.

“Of course, this includes approximately 1,500 customers who did not have power restored after Tropical Storm Fay, as Gonzalo followed just a few days later.

“We do understand the frustration felt by those customers. Having back-to-back severe storms is a unique circumstance. Hurricane Gonzalo left Bermuda less than 24 hours ago, and we are doing our utmost to repair system damage and restore power to all customers as quickly as possible.”

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Comments (12)

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  1. Local Yokle says:

    Our power was out for 3 weeks after Fabian. It has already been out since Sunday….Please bring in as much extra help as possible. At this rate my Belco bill should be zero as surely I can’t be charged the facilities charge and my usage will be zero….

  2. JohnBoy says:

    Maybe its time to get the lines underground. Just a thought…

  3. MAKE MY DAY says:

    I anticipate that a lot-of-people are not going to have any power for a month unfortunately!!!

  4. Stone Age says:

    Bring in whatever/whomever it takes BELCO. My home has been in the stone age since Faye.

  5. paget mom with 2 kids says:

    We’ve been without power since Sunday..with 2 childen under 5! I hope BELCO will kindly focus on areas that have been without power for a WEEK.

  6. J.J. says:

    Please bring in anyone who can help us get this island running again! A big shout out to Belco, essential services and all who are helping with restoration of services!!!

  7. Jess says:

    BELCO will you prioritise those of us who have been out since Fay or will you leave us til last again? Would love to hear any information from you on our status.

  8. Retarded Comments says:

    BELCO ya doing a great job restoring power. I still have no lights but your working overtime to maintain electricity for the ialand it is most appreciated. I have 2kids under 5 but we know how to live. Keep up the good work and the impatient people with negative comments should remain without lights until they can appreciate all the work u have to do.

  9. 32N64W says:

    those who disparage the frustrated who have been without power since Fay miss the point of the complaints. the venting is not directed at the crews who are working to the point of exhaustion to bring power back to the island. those crews deserve our deepest thanks and appreciation for their efforts.

    the frustration is directed at BELCO management who put their profit ahead of their public service responsibility. when it was immediately apparent after Fay that the workload was going to be too much for the local crews to handle BELCO could have immediately called for assistance from CARILEC. they chose not to do so because bringing those crews to the island would cost them money. they put shareholder profit ahead of their duty as a public utility.

    part of the disaster protocol should be provision for immediate callup of CARILEC crews when damage and outage exceeds certain norms. failing to do so is a violation of BELCO’s duty to serve the public. I suggest that hearings be held to determine what sort of fine should be levied for BELCO’s failure. public utilities in the US would never be allowed to conduct disaster recovery the way BELCO management has conducted the recovery from these storms.

    • Spunky says:

      Wel said…. It makes more sense financially to hurry and restore power to 10,000 who have been without power for a few hours than to expedite restoration to a relative handful of 1,500 who have been without power for over a week.