As the community gathered to celebrate the men and women of the BVI Electricity Corporation who worked tirelessly to restore power to the Territory following hurricane Irma General Manager Leroy Abraham disclosed that some persons tried to sabotage the reconnection process.
In mentioning the challenges Mr. Abraham said: “Every speakable and unspeakable challenge – from persons trying to sabotage our progress, from persons trying to derail the direction that we want to go, from persons trying to slow us up from actually doing what it is we were trying to do which is get the lights put back on.”
He noted that the restoration process was expected to still be ongoing as experts doubted power could have been restored in less than nine months. “A few weeks ago I was made to understand that the expert report indicated that the BVI would not be at the stage at which all of us are enjoying now. They said it would have been great if we got it done in nine months, but estimatedly they indicated that it would be no less than one year, but we are all enjoying it now,” he pointed out.
Mr. Abraham said that the BVI is now enjoying the perks of electricity despite the extended estimation and he praised the employees of the Corporation for working hard to make this possible: “…the challenges that we faced on a daily basis to substantially restore the grid in six month time is truly miraculous.” He also pointed out that the BVI Electricity Corporation supplies service to 12 islands. The General Manager noted that the Territory was hit by the strongest most powerful hurricane on record and was able to come this far with limited resources and immense challenges.
Premier Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith was also in attendance at the reception that was held on 7 April, and he lauded the hard work of the Corporation. Premier Smith said: “They were able to get the power back in very good time. We all recognized the importance of having power.”
Hon. Smith thanked the men noting that a few other areas were damaged by hurricanes Irma and Maria and he said that it was good that the BVI was able to find help to get the power restored. “The work went on very speedily and we are very grateful,” the BVI Leader added.
In extending kudos to the BVIEC on the stellar task of restoring power to the Territory Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool admitted that he was skeptical that electricity was going to be restored quickly: “I honestly have to say that I didn’t have so much faith in them. I didn’t believe they could do what they have done. They have worked miracles, didn’t they?! Everywhere I go on the street even those who have complained in the beginning say what a marvelous job they have done, so I feel very happy with that.”
“I think all of us were wondering after those first few days what it would be like over the next year or two for electricity; and all those things, but I am happy that the BVI Electricity hunkered down and in a couple of month time we were back on track,” he added.