Electrical pole fires bring capital to a standstill

| 16/04/2010

(CNS): Business in down town George Town was severely disrupted yesterday as a result of two electrical pole fires the first occurred in the industrial area one around 9am and a second one at 11:45am although CUC said it was able to restore power to most customers by 3:30 pm many businesses were in the dark for most of the day. With no traffic lights on and roads closed by emergency services to facilitate the work of CUC technicians traffic ground to a halt. CUC said that some 3,000 customers were initially affected by the police fires.

The power firm said it was able to re-route power on its distribution system to restore power to the majority of customers within an hour.
According to a News 27 Vice President of Transmission and Distribution, Andrew Small explained that the pole fires occurred after a period of no rain and moderate to high winds which allowed salt to build up on the lines.  Under these circumstances, pole fires may occur if the lines and associated equipment receive light rain, as was the case yesterday.
The combination of the salt and water on the insulators causes electricity leakage to the wood poles, which may be ignited.  Usually, heavy rains will completely wash the salt off.  He said that CUC crews monitor and maintain the infrastructure to minimize such occurrences.  “Reliability of service is always our number one priority,” Small said. 


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  1. Joe Average says:

    It was not just a run of the mill pole. 

    It was the Mano a Mano Pole.  The Main Pole.  The Big Kahuna Pole.  The Poleaudacious Pole… caught fire!  So of course things were a little dicey.

    • Anonymous says:

       Thanks for the info, Joe.  Still, to have all the power for these crucial areas flow through a single point seems a bit short-sighted, to say the least.  No backups?  No redundancies?  Caribbean Utilities Company makes a fortune from fees, etc. in Cayman.  I would think they would invest some of that to insure an uninterrupted flow of power can be maintained to crucial government offices as well as to large concentrations of tourism / retail businesses (a huge part of our lifeblood).  To basically have the entire downtown as well as government shut down for a day because of problems at one location is a situation that should not happen here.  

  2. Anonymous says:

     The first "pole fire" took away power for most of downtown/waterfront.  Really?  All the juice for government/tourism/retail in those areas goes through one pole?  What kind of rinky-dink, mickey mouse, half-assed, third world power grid has CUC got us on here?

    Sure hope we don’t have a hurricane.  That might damage more than one pole and then we’d really be screwed.