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More BEL linemen dispatched to British Virgin Islands for hurricane relief

By Benjamin Flowers
Staff Reporter

Belize Electricity Limited dispatched a second team of linemen to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) this week to assist with restoring power after Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The team of five linemen, Wayne Lewis, Gregory Kerr, Manuel Lopez, Paul McCalla and George Neal, left Belize on Monday. They will be stationed there for four weeks assisting teams from the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) and the BVI Electric Corporation with rebuilding its power distribution system.

BEL has been a part of the restoration efforts since September, when they first dispatched a five-man team to render assistance. That team, which was stationed at Virgin Gorda for six weeks, returned to Belize on Tuesday.

“When we arrived on the island, there were no standing utility poles or power lines. We had to salvage and reuse any available material because transporting materials to the island is a big challenge for the utility in BVI,” explained BEL Line Supervisor, Michael Nembhard.

In September the BVI got ravaged by two Category 5 hurricanes in the space of two weeks. The combination of both storms displaced some 30,000 people on the largest island Tortola. To date, approximately 25 percent of BVI’s power system has been restored since the destruction caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in August and September.

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