The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) said 40,000 customers are still without electricity in Eastern Jamaica, following last Wednesday's passage of Hurricane Sandy, as restoration is proving more challenging for workers in the hardest hit parishes of Portland, St Thomas and St Mary.
"Most of the JPS's customers who remain without power are in these parishes, due to the extensive damage to the environment and to the JPS infrastructure," said JPS Head of Corporate Communications Winsome Callum.
Callum said, in some communities, work is severely hampered by blocked roads, as a result of landslides and uprooted vegetation.
Despite the challenges, Callum said the company is working steadfastly to restore power as quickly as possible to the customers in these parishes who are still without electricity. Restoration work in some areas is expected to continue for a few days.
As for St Mary, Callum said power has now been restored to 30 per cent of customers in the parish, leaving some 18,000 customers without electricity.
"The teams have so far identified over 100 broken poles in the parish, and are in the process of changing them," she said.
Yesterday the restoration crews were said to be working to get service to sections of Sandside Heights, Cox Street, Cambridge, Liberton and Brimmervale.
Portland customers, Callum said, were most badly affected due to extensive damage to the transmission lines providing service to the parish.
However, JPS's restoration teams, she said, made a significant breakthrough on Saturday night when work was completed on one of the transmission lines, allowing restoration of power to about 10 per cent of customers in Portland.
She said almost 13,800 customers in the parish are still without service.
JPS crews, she said, were yesterday working to restore power to the Anchovy Housing Scheme, Dolphin Bay, Williamsfield, sections of Drapers, Passley Gardens, Norwhich, sections of Snow Hill, sections of St. Margaret's Bay, Hope Bay Town, and sections of Black Hill.
In St Thomas, JPS has been able to restore service to about 57 per cent of its customers.
"However, despite the best efforts of the company's restoration teams, about 8,200 customers in the parish remain without power, primarily due to access challenges," Callum said. JPS is receiving assistance from the National Works Agency and the parish council with the clearing of blocked roads.