The linesmen of the Belize Electricity Limited were called out just before two o’clock this morning when the country experienced a power outage. The unscheduled blackout stemmed from some challenges that the utility company has been facing in recent weeks due to the weather. Yesterday evening the company issued a release explaining that the drought coupled with bushfires has been damaging their equipment, subsequently causing unexpected power outages in various parts of the country. Vonetta Burrell, the company’s public relations executive, called into The Morning Show today to explain this morning’s situation.
Vonetta Burrell, Public Relations Executive, Belize Electricity Limited: “Unfortunately last night we had a transmission failure near San Estevan in the Orange Walk district. The main reason we wanted to speak to the Love Team was to express our apologies of course to the public who expect reliable power from us. Sometimes there are things that happen outside our control and this is one such incident. We have been working diligently to address an issue that we’ve been experiencing on our system over the past few months. Due to the weather conditions it’s extremely dry we have heavy build up of dust on our lines more than expected so we are now working to make sure that we intensify our maintenance program to address the issue that’s being caused by the drought. Last night’s outage that affected most of the country was due to one of those factors. We had a fire on the transmission line near San Estevan. Preliminary investigations revealed that it may have been due to this issue. So our teams are wrapping up those works so the only portion of the country that is without power because of that is a portion of the Corozal district and we should be getting connected shortly. We just wanted to also advise the public that we understand that it’s very hot, it’s very inconvenient when we don’t have power at these times but please know that our teams are working quickly, they’re responding as fast as possible considering the circumstances that we’re in. Our teams are working in modified conditions, we have to practice social distancing.”
According to Burrell, there is another challenge for the company in the Port Loyola area of Belize City that the workmen are currently working to address.
Vonetta Burrell, Public Relations Executive, Belize Electricity Limited: “We have a situation in Belize City as well in the area near the port where we have some work underway. There was a pole fire for the same reason again the build up of dust on our equipment so our teams are out there working to restore power to that area. We have a portion of Belize City that is without power since around eight o’clock and they should be restored by eleven so it’s just those two areas and we just want to ask everybody to please bear patience with us we’re trying to manage the situation as best as possible, we’re trying to deal with the extra effort that’s now required because of mother nature and we are out there assessing and we’re reevaluating the manner in which we are addressing this issue to see how best we can mitigate the reoccurrence of outages. So for the most part that’s the challenge we’re facing right now, the drought and the impact of the drought on our equipment.”
Electricity was restored in sections and fully addressed by midday today.