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NEMA Receives Briefings from BEC

NASSAU, The Bahamas - The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) received information from the Bahamas Electricity Corporation and the Lynden Pindling International Airport, on August 25, 2011, concerning issues arising from Hurricane Irene’s effect on the various Bahamian Islands. The Bahamas Electricity Corporation reported that it is presently monitoring its systems in New Providence and the Family Islands as Hurricane Irene continues to impact the country.

In New Providence, a third of customers remain connected. At present, a number of customers are experiencing supply disruption. Such outages may be caused by downed power lines, due to heavy winds or trees falling on lines, BEC said. Also, feeders that tripped due to fault conditions remain out of service until assessments can be carried out. This minimizes the risk of equipment damage, as well as potential harm due to the possibility of downed, energized power lines.

BEC said that it conducted a controlled shutdown in several areas to protect local distribution systems from major damage and BEC teams worked until 3 a.m. Thursday morning restoring supply to several communities in New Providence.  However, as weather conditions deteriorated the restoration effort in New Providence was postponed until conditions improve and the "all clear" has been given. Once that happens the damage will be assessed and then crews will reconvene local restoration.

In the Family Islands, residents in most islands, with the exception of Inagua, -- where power has been restored to the majority of customers - continue to experience outages, due to controlled power station shut downs or downed power lines.

BEC officials advised NEMA that they will continue to monitor all systems and provide timely updates on the effects of this weather system on its networks and its plans to commence the restoration effort.

Customers are encouraged to use the BEC emergency numbers 302-1800 or 323-5561, if they need to report supply issues.