#TurksandCaicos, October 4, 2017 – Providenciales – Less than one month since the passing of Hurricane Irma, FortisTCI (the Company) has restored electricity to nearly 7,000 customers across the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), currently meeting a system demand of 22MW or 57% of the Company’s peak demand for electricity.
Damage to the Company’s Transmission and Distribution Network (T&D) – poles, power lines, and transformers – was extensive across all islands. In some cases like Grand Turk, damage sustained was as much as 90%. According to a government statement issued on September 29, “Turks and Caicos Post Irma received 79.6% damages to its housing stock and critical buildings across the entire Turks and Caicos Islands.”
FortisTCI has responded to this devastation in a massive way. The Company has deployed over 200 linemen, planners, and support staff, including local employees, the Fortis response team, overseas, and local contractors to be involved in the restoration of electricity across the islands.
Damage sustained to the Company’s transmission and distribution (T&D) networks was substantial and full restoration will take some time.
The table below lists by island an estimate of damages and level of restoration as of October 3, 2017:
Island Estimated Damage to Transmission & Distribution (T&D) Network Customers restore as of Oct. 3, 2017
Providenciales 65% of T&D Network, Approx. 500 downed or damaged poles 54%
North & Middle Caicos 35% of T&D Network, Approx. 60 downed or damaged poles 85%
Grand Turk 90% of T&D Network, Approx. 450 downed or damaged poles
With extensive damages, approximately 60 kilometers (36miles) of electricity wire needs to be run on Grand Turk. So far, crews have restored service to 173 customers some of the essential services like the water plant. Electricity is also available for the airport.
South Caicos 80% of T&D Network Approx. 250 downed or damaged poles 27.85
Salt Cay 65% of T&D Network, Approx. 25 downed or damaged poles
Crews will be on Salt Cay within two weeks to begin repairs.
Fortis continues marshaling the necessary resources to restore the remainder of all service territories as quickly as possible. A chartered barge delivering an additional 27 trucks, trailers and utility equipment is expected to arrive in Grand Turk on Wednesday, October 4th to further assist the restoration efforts.
FortisTCI President & CEO Eddinton Powell said, “With the support of our parent Company, our approach is to concentrate resources on all Islands. Our plan is to rebuild fast and build smart. The Company’s investments in infrastructure over the past 10 years has enabled us to restore electricity to approximately 50% of our total customer-base in less than a month. That is an extraordinary achievement, given the scale of the devastation. The support of the Government and statutory agencies has been invaluable. Everyone is working together.”
A restoration schedule for Providenciales, subject to change, is now available for customers. The Company expects to issue a similar plan for Grand Turk and South Caicos by October 13.
Each schedule accounts for the restoration of service to approximately 75% of customers in all areas. The other 25% of customers may have additional damages to their service equipment that will need further investigation.
Estimated Schedule of Restoration on Providenciales
Location Estimated Date of Restoration
Millennium Highway up to Phase II Housing Complex By October 7
Millennium Highway up to Phase I Housing Complex By October 11
Beach Road By October 17
Five Cays By October 16
South Dock Road By October 12
Chalk Sound Between October 14 and October 21
Cooper Jack and Discovery Bay Between October 14 and October 21
Venetian Road Between October 14 and October 21
Long Bay Hills Between October 14 and October 21
The process of restoring electricity begins with getting power to essential services such as hospitals, water plants, and airports. Then crews work on repairing and restoring main power lines that will restore electricity to large groups of customers. Then the focus moves to restoring smaller service lines that feed particular streets and cul-de-sacs from the main power lines. Finally, crews address individual customers with damages or disruptions affecting their particular service.
As restoration of electricity service continues across the TCI, the Company reminds customers to turn off breakers, unplug appliances and equipment and turn off wall switches. Customers are also encouraged to consult a licensed electrician before undertaking any electrical repairs.
Customers with properties that may have been damaged or had their electrical systems compromised will need to make all necessary repairs and have an inspection completed by the Government Planning Department. They will then need to provide FortisTCI with written approval from the Planning Department stating that service can be connected.
Customers still experiencing an interruption in areas where service has been fully restored, and all necessary checks have been completed with an electrician, are asked to contact the FortisTCI customer call center to report the outage. The call center can be reached by dialing 946-4313 and is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 am – 5 pm.
FortisTCI wishes to thank customers and the public for their patience during this period. For further information, please visit us only at www.fortistci.com, follow us on Facebook.
Press Release: FortisTCI