Belco provided the following update on power outages across the island as a result of Hurricane Fiona.
As of 6pm today (Sept 23), the company reported the following storm-related outages:
𝐒𝐭. 𝐆𝐞𝐨𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐬 1,814
The company said: “Our crews are still out working to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.
“Please exercise caution when driving near our working team members as safety is of the utmost importance.
“Please remember the wind and rain slows down our progress a bit.
“If you have power in one half of your house, this is called a partial power outage. This means you have only one phase of electricity available; therefore one half of your house is being powered. Turn off your power at the meter and call 955.
“But there were still 14,895 Belco customers without lights at 5pm, down from 18,153 reported an hour earlier and a high of more than 29,000 customers around midday.
“Just 97 customers in Sandys were without power by 5pm, but there were still more than 4,000 customers in Pembroke who were in the dark.
“The power outages came after Bermuda was hit with high winds, but avoided the worst of Hurricane Fiona.
“Fort George was battered with gusts of almost 70 knots – about 80mph – and Fiona’s closest point to the island came at around 5am.
“Despite dropping to a category 3 hurricane, tropical storm force winds continued to hit Bermuda for some hours.
“The destructive path of the hurricane saw power outages begin at about 11.30pm Thursday as 900 customers were hit, but the number soared to more than 4,000 by 1.45am today and by 5am, 17, 285 customers were out.
At 5pm 14,895 customers were still without power, down from 18,153 reported an hour earlier and a high of more than 29,000 customers around midday.
“Belco had appealed to customers not to call during the storm so that lines could be left clear for emergency situations.
“As the company moved to restoring power, it said: “Our crews are working to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. Please exercise caution when driving near our working team members as safety is of the utmost importance.”
“The company also asked people not to call in report power outages at this time. It said: “Customers with AMI meters don’t have to call as outages are reported directly to Belco.
“Please keep out of the way of BELCO crews as they work.”
It added in a tweet: “Once power is restored, if a lightbulb is extremely bright or dim, turn off your power at the meter and contact Belco. This may indicate a voltage problem.”
And the company reminded people to put safety first: “Always assume that downed power lines are energised & stay at least 33 ft away. Stay clear of debris that may conceal live power lines. If you come across a downed power line, do NOT run. Keep your legs together and shuffle away with both feet on the ground.”
Belco also asked people not plug generators directly into the electricity supply and to never use put the generator indoors.
“Hooking up your generator directly into your home power supply could energise the outside power lines and electrocute a utility worker,” Belco said. “If you must connect the generator through the house wiring to power appliances, use a qualified and licensed electrician.
“It is important to remember not to call Belco during a storm to report a power outage. However, during a storm, we DO encourage you to call Belco in the event of an emergency or life-threatening situation such as downed power lines or pole fires.”