Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited (BELCO) today advised that preparations are being made for the expected impact of Tropical Storm Alex.
BELCO’s Crisis Management Team have met to discuss and plan for the likely impacts of Tropical Storm Alex as the Bermuda Weather Service has forecast wet weather and periods of tropical storm force winds beginning late Sunday and lasting through Monday.
BELCO’s worksites where trenching is taking place are being prepared for the potential impacts of heavy rain and tropical storm force winds and motorists are advised to use caution when in the vicinity of the open trenches.
As a reminder, there are several actions and precautions the public can take to ensure outages are kept to a minimum as well as to ensure their safety such that BELCO crews can carry out restoration work safely and efficiently. These include:
- Trees and foliage hitting power lines are the number one reason for power outages, especially during hurricanes. And these outages are entirely preventable. Now is the time for property owners to trim their trees at a minimum of ten feet away from power lines to prevent an outage. It is important to be safe while trimming your trees. Please call BELCO at 299-2800 to schedule a power shutdown for your tree trimming. We ask that you arrange this three week in advance so that we have enough time to schedule your power shutdown.
- Safety first! Always assume a downed wire is live. Never approach a downed wire, don’t try to move it or touch it.
- Reporting outages: customers with AMI meters will already be logged as having an outage. Other customers are asked not to call to report an outage until BELCO has asked you to do so.
- On the restoration of power, it is prudent to use lights only and have voltages checked by qualified personnel before plugging-in sensitive and expensive equipment.
- Remember, before the onset of high winds, ensure you unplug any appliances, electronics, or other sensitive equipment. While plug-in surge protectors protect against common, small surges, unplugging is the safest bet for lightning surges that may occur during a storm.
- Keep out of the way of BELCO crews as they work.
- Customers can always check on outages and restoration efforts in their area by visiting belco.bm and accessing the outage map.
- If you are a medical priority customer, please speak to your doctor now about a plan in the case of a power outage from a Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee electricity for the duration of the storm and you may need to make alternative arrangements.
BELCO President Wayne Caines said: “Meteorologists have predicted an active storm season and it looks like we will be impacted by the first named storm of the year. I am confident our staff are well prepared for any impacts from Tropical Storm Alex and I encourage the public to make their preparations now, stay safe during the storm and proceed with caution around the work currently taking place in various parts of the island to upgrade our transmission and distribution system. The public can also visit the BELCO website where there is helpful information on hurricane safety plans, tips and advice to keep their family and property safe.”