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UPDATE: Power restored after RT residents & businesses endure lengthy power outage

Defective transformer left residents, businesses without power for over 24 hours!
August 18th, 2012 | Tags: Power Outage
Main Street during last night's power outage in Road Town. Photo: provided
Another section of Main Street as it appeared during last night's power outage. Photo: provided
Another section of Main Street as it appeared during last night's power outage. Photo: provided
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Virgin Islands News Online has now been informed by Acting Transmissions & Distribution Engineer of the BVI Electricity Corporation, Symorne Penn, that power has been restored to the area around 6:00pm this evening, August 18, 2012. She added that the Corporation is very sorry for any inconvenience that may have been caused during the power outage.

Earlier, residents and businesses in the Main Street area of Road Town, had been left without electricity for more than an entire day. Reports reaching this news site  suggested this was as a result of a defective transformer which malfunctioned yesterday, August 17, 2012 sometime around 9:30am.

Residents had been unable to access their basic electrical equipment such as household appliances and computers and were frustrated at the fact that the problem is taking so long to be resolved. One resident Ms Eugenia O’Neal said that she had called several workers at the distribution offices to find out what had been happening and had been continuously unsuccessful at getting any satisfactory responses.

She expressed that “the first time I called they said it was the feeder,” electricity briefly returned in the morning and went off again almost immediately, “I called again [in the evening] and they said it was the transformer that blew”.  “They said they’re working hard but I didn’t expect this,” she complained, “this happened about two weeks ago... and that lasted for about nine hours around the time of the Festival”. 

Ms O’Neal, revealed her frustration about being unable to work from home as she normally does and said “I use my computer and I can’t use my computer and I’m hoping that nothing has gone wrong with it because it was in the afternoon when I was trying to get on [to work] that it went off again.” “I think we’ve got to get the basics right before dreaming up grand plans.” 

Another resident, who is a seamstress, said customers have come for clothing and had to be turned away because items could not be completed due to the power outage. 

Electricity was returned briefly to the area but this relief was quickly taken away as the transformer malfunctioned again sometime around 3:00 pm yesterday afternoon and had to be taken away to be serviced. 

Workers at a nearby business said “People come to the store and think it’s closed.”  “We have had to write [receipts], going back to the olden days”. They expressed severe discomfort at the heat and the loss of business that came as a result of the power outage. 

Another source told this news site that barbers have had to move all the way to the main road at Purcell to get their work done adding that this is an extreme inconvenience. 

Calls by this news site to several electricity officials proved unsuccessful but one source speaking under the condition of anonymity said that they were aware of the issue and working on the defective transformer promising to have the power returned soon. “We have a damaged transformer .... repairing it has proved very difficult”. “It’s not as if [the transformer had] one problem, it was a series of problems leading up to [its second removal]”.

When contacted earlier by this news site Honourable Mark Vanterpool, Minister for Communications and Works, who is also the 4th district representative which includes Road Town confirmed that he received a report on the issue. He said the report he received stated, "They are working feverishly to get it resolved". He added that, "We are all concerned that they are working feverishly, but they are having some difficulties."

When contacted about her reaction to the power being restored Ms O'Neal, expressing a sense of palpable relief, stated that "It's amazing, the sense of well being that this brings." "Take away one thing and everything just falls apart; return it and see how wonderfully everything comes together again."




14 Responses to “UPDATE: Power restored after RT residents & businesses endure lengthy power outage”

  • my two cents (18/08/2012, 13:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    the country in a mess the UK need to tek over tis place yall..tis worste dan a 3 world country
    • Small Head (19/08/2012, 22:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I cannot believe how the people of Road Town on a busy weekend suffered through this!!! Mark you need to shake up the BVIEC...
  • --------------- (18/08/2012, 16:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    for real I could not even get my hair cut at my waterfront barber
  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (18/08/2012, 22:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    So many problems in this country, why is everything falling apart over the last 9 months???
  • better one do not come (18/08/2012, 23:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Imagine It took almost two days to get the lights back and no hurricane came through Road Town...what if one did????
    • WHY (19/08/2012, 10:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
  • back track (19/08/2012, 09:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    finally the light are back! BAM
  • where???? (19/08/2012, 12:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    where was Hon. M*** in all this??? after all its his district
    • rat tail (19/08/2012, 15:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      what is your point??? did you read the article where the man say they were working on it????
  • Queen Mary (20/08/2012, 03:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why was the BVI EC facility allowed to deteriorate in the first place?
  • bigger picture (20/08/2012, 12:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    can you imagine visitors stuck on the ferris wheel or merry-go-round in a black out? how about a tram up Joe's Hill Rd.? Gov has no business thinking big projects without fixing these basic services first. It is a safety hazzard as well. The more drain on the electric grid the more problems. Let's see what happens with Lake's monstrosity, maria's new humungus over-sized hotel- both with air conditioning... Genie O'Neal is right. fix these things first before "dreaming up big plans".

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