Disaster Recovery Efforts Must Be Done in a Safe Environment

Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 24, 2022 (SKNIS): Safety first for all work crews and the public is the priority for officials at The Cable Ltd. and the St. Kitts Electricity Company (SKELEC) Ltd after a disaster. Officials from the two companies stressed the safety component during the recovery process on Wednesday’s (August 24) edition of the television and radio programme Working for You.

Collin Brown, SKELEC’s Control, Operation and Protection Manager, and Yehoshua Melchizedek, Chief Technical Officer at The Cable, appeared on the programme ahead of the start of the peak of the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season which is usually in September. Mr. Brown said that in the event of damage from natural or man-made disasters, crews will work assiduously to restore power but can only do so in a safe way.

A considerable portion of our infrastructure is located in areas that are difficult to access – remote areas. Getting to those areas in the first instance, safely, is a challenge. We’ll have to leverage heavy equipment in certain instances, mountain roads (may have been) washed out, Mr. Brown stated. Flowing ghauts, downed poles and power lines, uprooted trees, as well as damaged substations also pose a major challenge to power restoration.

We all know we (SKELEC and customers) would like to restore electricity as quickly as possible but safety is the primary aim. The secondary aim is to get electricity back on and in doing it safely sometimes it requires doing it at a more controlled pace,” Mr. Brown added.

Mr. Melchizedek agreed and urged customers to be patient during the damage assessment and repair work periods. He noted that damage from the storm may have caused telephone or cable lines to be energized, posing a severe risk of electric shock to anyone handling them.

The chief technical officer added that the coordinating effort at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) as well as close collaboration with other public infrastructure agencies and private companies is extremely useful after a disaster and expedites recovery efforts.

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