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Aug 30, 2007

Lightning strikes damage B.E.L. equipment

Story PictureAnd while the city wide clean-up continues, over the last two days homeowners across the country have had to deal with the effects of the severe lightning which accompanied the rainstorms. According to officials of Belize Electricity Limited the lightning caused serious damage to transformers, distribution lines and substation equipment resulting in blackouts in the Belize, Cayo and Stann Creek districts. While its crews have restored power to most of the affected areas, tonight the company advises customers to take the necessary steps to protect electrical appliances.

Dawn Sampson, Corporate Communications Manager, B.E.L.
“It’s been very challenging for us but we assure our customers that we’re working diligently to try and normalize the system as quickly as possible. I think what’s critical at this point too is safety, right. From a safety perspective we need to advise customers that in the event— in any lightening storm, you want to make sure that you disconnect you sensitive electrical equipment from the power sockets. What’s better is to turn off your power from the panel box and in the event of flooding that also becomes critical, to turn off your power from the main power box.”

Kendra Griffith, Reporting
“Have any persons been calling, saying that they’ve suffered damages to equipment?”

Dawn Sampson, Corporate Communications Manager, B.E.L.
“So far, noh, I would have to find out from customer care , but that is possible that we could get some calls from customers along those lines. What we communicate to customers right, when it’s an act of nature, unfortunately we cannot protect our customers from damages that result from an act of nature. However, if the damages are a direct result of some fault on the company’s part, negligence on the part of the company, then we have an obligation to honor any claims, and we do honor those claims.”

Kendra Griffith, Reporting
“When will things be back to normal for B.E.L.?”

Dawn Sampson
“Hopefully soon, we have a committed work force and we’re very proud of our employees. They’ve been working hard, some of them working long hours for the day. So, we’re confident that things are going to be back to normal pretty soon, and we assure our customers of that and we thank them most importantly, for their patience because it has been challenging with all of the power outages over the past week or so.”

For more information regarding electrical safety, please call 0-800-235-2273.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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