Connect with us

TCI News

Two switches shut down; FortisTCI assures they were ready in this week’s unexpected power failure



#Providenciales, June 7, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – A series of switch failures is what led to the two power outages of Tuesday June 4 and Wednesday June 5; for some residents it meant more than 24-hours without electricity and for FortisTCI it meant pulling the back-up out of stock. 

FortisTCI’s CEO, Eddinton Powell held a press conference this morning at the headquarter office on Leeward Highway in Providenciales, where media learned that it was failure of one switch and then another which caused the two black outs.

“The first outage began on Tuesday June 4, approximately 8:54 a.m. and service was fully restored to all customers by 10:37 a.m.  This outage was the result of failed electrical equipment at the main substation.  A second outage began on the same day in the late afternoon at approximately 4:52 p.m., following the failure of another critical path high voltage switch on the transmission system to the company’s substations, which serve customers via underground cables.”

Mr. Powell called the latter switch ‘critical path switch’, responsible for dispatching 35 kV of electricity; a high voltage switch which would take more work and a longer time to restore.  It is also the switch which feeds the Grace Bay Substation, which carries electricity to Leeward and Leeward Palms; all three areas were longest without electricity earlier this week.

“You just can’t move those transmission and distribution lines that are connected to that switch.  In effect what we had to end up doing, and this is why it took so long is we had to replace that entire switch. Replacing that switch, programming the new switch, using heavy equipment and cranes to move that switch into place because these switches weigh tons.  You’ve got to bring in specialty cranes to move the switch and then that took time to reconnect all of this transmission and distribution line.”

Mr. Powell confirmed that no part had to be brought in; that foresight on the part of FortisTCI ensured that the company was ready to respond to what was an unexpected technical failure.

“I want to ensure all of our customers that this country has a very good utility, not withstanding the incidents we’ve had,” Mr. Powell also shared that, “In the case of the last outages where our customers were, in some cases, out for 24-hours, we had to replace that entire equipment and we had that equipment in stock.  We did not have to bring that in and that is another indication of how well you plan for these kinds of things because you can have critical equipment in stock for years and it doesn’t move but until you that time when you need it, you need to have it and we had it.”

Public reaction to the prolonged power outage was varied, but comments on social media mainly lambasted the electricity company for the system failure, the inconveniences it was causing and a lag in communication with the general public. 

The CEO apologised, thanked the public for its patience, thanked the team for a job well done and repeated that the Turks and Caicos has a very good utility company in FortisTCI.

Forty staff members worked to restore the electricity, which while off for a full day in Grace Bay impacted households, schools, tourism operations and businesses.

Electricity was restored on June 5, 2019 at 7:46 p.m. “without further incident.”




Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.


Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

Continue Reading


New Rules for Turks & Caicos JPs



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, August 5, 2022 – Rules governing Justices of the Peace in the Turks and Caicos are now significantly stricter after the passing of the amendment to the Magistrates Amendment Bill in July 2022.

Despite the fact that Justices of the Peace are allowed the same powers as a magistrate previously the only requirement for their appointment was the discretion of the Governor and that they be under 65-years-old.

That power has now been transferred from the Governor to the Chief Justice.

Justices of the peace have always by law been allowed to receive complaints, sign charges and issue warrants for the apprehension of persons charged with criminal offenses. They can also issue search warrants summons and administer oaths.

Considering the potentially unchecked execution of these powers, the attorney general’s chambers lobbied for a change in the system.

“These are very wide powers and there is no framework for the supervision and regulation of the whole of justices of the peace in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

The amendment rectified this and the Chief Justice now has the power to make binding rules and regulations governing the appointment of JPs, a code of conduct disciplinary action and orientation and periodic training for JPs.

In addition, to maintain separation of powers the governor will be stripped of the power to disallow laws made by resident magistrates. That power now belongs to the Chief Justice.

Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles, TCI Attorney General maintained that the amendment was short but necessary.

Continue Reading


Young People in TCI are having sex, Rapport wants to ensure they’re doing it safe



By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm

Editorial Staff


#TurksandCaicos, August 5, 2022 – Young people in the Turks and Caicos are very sexually active and while there are no concrete statistics, the newest members of the Rapport all said “Yes” to the question about whether there is rampant sexual activity.

“As a young person I totally agree that they are having a lot of sex,” Arean Louis said.

This is particularly concerning given wider statistics point to a very young age group which is still contracting HIV/Aids.

“Caribbean statistics are showing that between the ages of 15 and 25 those have the highest amount of HIV rates.”

A five person delegation was this past  week representing the Turks and Caicos Islands at the International Aids Conference, staged in Montreal, Canada July 29 – August 2, 2022.

Young adult members of Rapport TCI all agree that youth in the TCI must be made aware of HIV and other STIs. Arean Louis, Denae Dennie and Arielle Neely spoke to Magnetic Media on their way to the International AIDS Conference.

All three agreed that our young people are having a lot of sex.

“I would say that our young people are having sec the only thing that I would say is I hope that they are letting their partners know their sexual history, their status, and that they’re being safe.” Dennie said.

Louis added, “As we talk about HIV and AIDS in the Turks and Caicos Islands we most definitely need to bring awareness to our young people because there is no set age— kids nowadays just like to experiment.”

He stressed safe sex, using protection and abstinence to maintain sexual health.

“What we aim to do is keep them safe here, we’re tired and we don’t want to see anymore STD and STI new cases in the Turks and Caicos.”

Dennie says she still thinks there is fear surrounding HIV but with education and protection, the world can get to zero new cases and it was something she was looking forward to.

The final member Arielle Neely explained that there were not enough tools and resources to educate youth.

“There are not enough tools or enough record to educate them. Our parents think they’re doing a good job by telling us don’t have sex but telling us don’t have sex isn’t enough. You have to teach us about birth control planned parenthood.”

The three members had high hopes for Rapport and stressed that they need more members to make an effective change on sexual health in the TCI.

Continue Reading