JPS warns of more power cuts for Westmoreland
A Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) lineman at work.

WESTMORELAND, Jamaica — Things may get worse before they get any better for some Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) customers in several Westmoreland communities who were already complaining of frequent power cuts and surges in July. As the company moves to implement a long-term fix, it has warned that there may be service disruptions.

It has been a frustrating time for some customers. Within a two-hour period on the night of July 19, approximately eight power outages were reported in the Little London and Savanna-la-Mar area, with two power surges in between.

"These constant power outages are not only affecting me personally but… affecting my business and other businesses in the area," Little London business owner Lamar Whyte told the Jamaica Observer.

According to JPS operations area manager, West Detommie Fuller, the company is aware of the issue and is working to have it resolved.

"The service interruptions experienced by customers on July 19 and 23 were caused by a technical challenge with a major equipment on the JPS power delivery system, which we are taking steps to address," he told the Observer. "Preliminary measures have been put in place to reduce the possibility of a recurrence, especially over the Emancipation and Independence holidays."

He said a permanent solution will be implemented after the holiday period. This will include other planned improvement works, as part of ongoing efforts to improve the reliability and power quality to the affected communities.

"During this period of work, some customers may experience occasional disruptions in their supply," Fuller warned. "However, every effort will be made to minimise such occurrences."

In the meantime, the JPS is appealing to customers to play their part in preventing power outages over the holidays. Motor vehicles crashing into the utility company's infrastructure and tree limbs hanging over JPS lines are two of the leading causes of power outages, the company said.

"While we do our part to keep the power on, we urge motorists, in particular, to be careful on the roads and avoid collisions with JPS poles," said Fuller.

BY ROSALEE WOOD Observer writer

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