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Time to bury power cables

Information Source:Henan Huadong Cable Co., Ltd  Release date:2014-11-05

As a Bermudian living abroad I have been closely following events surrounding the two storms which recently slammed into the Island. Besides the obvious damage to property and foliage I was interested to read that once again Bermudians are left without power for quite an extended period in many cases.

Over and above the fact of the inconvenience caused to those affected by this, including many business establishments on the Island, there is the high cost of putting things right once things have calmed down. The amazing thing is this is repeated, time after time, hurricane after hurricane.

I was born and raised in Bermuda and can recall quite a number of hurricanes, some worse than others. It could easily be argued that in almost every case they have resulted in power outages with the accompanying hardship and expense which they incur. The reason for this is the simple fact that power lines are above ground.

It must be as astounding to others, as it is to me, that Belco has made precious little attempt at dealing with this situation. During the years one has seen trenching carried out for Watlington Water and/or cable TV and one has been left wondering why it is not possible for Belco to utilise that trenching to get their power cables underground?

Certainly there is a cost for this, but it must be worth the cost to once and for all avoid the inevitable power losses from hurricanes and reinstating power to the Island’s residents and infrastructure.

On my last trip home, I have to confess to a sense of disappointment in the changes which had taken place on the Island. It was not the place I remembered. Thinking of felled trees and downed power lines does give one a Third World feeling, and this is tragic when remembering the extraordinary beauty of the Island I grew up on.

Being without power is something I also grew up with, but does that really need to be the case in today’s Bermuda? Surely there must be some way for the Government to bring into effect a ruling so that every time D&J, Island Construction or Mr Froud do trenching, Belco must be involved in getting their cabling underground.

This must surely be in the interest of the future of Bermuda. It is patent insanity, considering Bermuda’s history with hurricanes, to have power cables on poles like Bangladesh or the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. It is also unsightly, giving the impression of a somewhat backward country, which Bermuda certainly is not.

It may be high time for Bermudians to insist this insanity come to an end, and that Belco take responsibility by moving in the most logical direction — power cables underground.


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