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Storm leaves thousands in blackout; major repairs scheduled for Monday

A downed transformer and electricity cables in South Ruimveldt.

Residents in several coastal areas across Guyana were Sunday night going to bed without electricity due to severe storm damage, even as the power company was busy mobilizing workers and spares to alleviate the situation early in the new week.

Among the areas without power are South and North Ruimveldt, Lamaha Springs, Parfaite Harmonie and Cornelia Ida, parts of the East Bank Demerara and Berbice.

Guyana Power and Light (GPL) spokeswoman, Wadecia Donald told Demerara Waves Online News that the “hardest hit area” was from Industrial Site to Garden of Eden, East Bank Demerara. “We have several poles down along with transformers, we have got poles on people’s homes, wires are burst so we have several teas working,” she said. Diamond was re-powered late Sunday.

The spokeswoman said remedial works were affected by the ongoing inclement weather and limited manpower. “We are sort of out-numbered. It’s so much,” she said. Donald noted that in addition to the usual line-maintenance and emergency crews, other workers have gone out to lend assistance.

“We have superintendents, engineers, we have staff who came out as a result of what was happening to try to lend a hand to power everyone that is affected but the very bad cases will have to wait until tomorrow (Monday) when we will have to replace polls and all of that,” said Donald.

At South Ruimveldt, downed utility poles and a transformer near Andrews Supermarket, Fern Drive, lay across the roadway up to Sunday evening. The poles also prevented vehicles from passing.

Also hard hit are sections of Berbice because a pole at Ithaca on the West Coast that suspends the main transmission line between East and West Berbice was broken by the storm. The GPL spokeswoman said a number of major repairs would have to wait until Monday if the weather improves by then. Villages affected in Berbice are from Columbia to Seafield

Across on the Essequibo Coast, she said poles and transmission lines in several villages were tossed down resulting in blackout there.

GPL’s phone lines continue to be bombarded with calls from affected residents.

The roofs of a number of homes in several areas have been blown off.