KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) last night said that it has made significant headway in restoring electricity to its customers, following damage done by Hurricane Sandy
At 8:00 o-clock Thursday [October 25] JPS reported that power had been restored to over 60 per cent of its customers adding that the company’s technical teams would work into the night to bring other customers onto the grid.
However despite the progress, JPS has indicated that some customers will remain without supply overnight, and possibly into the weekend.
“We got a direct hit in our main population centres of St Catherine and the Kingston Metropolitan Region, which account for more than half of our entire customer base,” JPS President & CEO, Kelly Tomblin said.
“Much of the damage was in the eastern parishes that had received extensive rainfall prior to the hurricane and this has posed problems of access, as well as challenges for our teams working in areas with high levels of soil saturation,” she added.
Preliminary assessment has indicated that the company suffered damage to nearly 200 poles, close to 240 spans of power lines, as well as other elements of the electricity infrastructure, JPS said.
Western & Southern parishes
Western and southern parishes were least impacted by the hurricane. In light of this, JPS said it was expecting that by the end of restoration work Thursday night, power would have been restored to almost all its customers in Westmoreland, Hanover and St Elizabeth, and to over 90 per cent of customers in St James, Clarendon, and Manchester. More than 60 per cent of customers in Trelawny are expected to be restored by later tonight.
Kingston & St Andrew and St Catherine
The main population centres of Kingston & St Andrew and St Catherine were in the direct line of the hurricane and, as a consequence, suffered significant damage to the electricity infrastructure.
JPS projected that by the end of its restoration efforts Thursday night, over 75 per cent of customers in St Catherine, Kingston & St Andrew, would have received their power supply.
Eastern & Northeastern Parishes
The eastern and northeastern parishes of St Ann, St Mary, St Thomas and Portland lost all power due to damage to critical transmission systems that feed these parishes.
JPS said that teams are working to address the damage, which is necessary before power can be restored to the distribution lines that get power to customers.
Given the extent of the damage, restoration work in these parishes is expected to extend into the weekend, JPS cautioned.
However, the company said that by the end of restoration work Thursday night 20 per cent of customers in St Ann and St Thomas would receive power.
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