Toppled! 257 JPS poles downed by Hurricane Beryl in St Elizabeth

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A downed utility pole blocking the section of a road in St Elizabeth. (Photo: OPM)

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A total of 257 light poles in St Elizabeth were toppled by the howling winds associated with Hurricane Beryl that lashed the island as a Category 4 storm on July 3, plunging large parts of the country, and the entire bread basket parish into darkness.

This was shared by Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Tuesday in a ministerial statement in the House of Representatives, during which he provided an update on the Government’s recovery efforts in the aftermath of the devastating hurricane.

In addition to the downed poles, the prime minister said the report from the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) indicates that 225 insulators and cross arms were damaged, as well as 105 conductors and 13 transformers.

He noted that JPS has indicated that it has restored electricity to 84 per cent or 581,000 of its customers up to Tuesday, with the majority to receive power by Saturday, July 13. However, residents of St Elizabeth will have to wait a few more weeks for full restoration.

Said Holness:

Restoration is under way, but given the extent of the damage, it will require weeks to complete.

I want to assure all Jamaicans that the Government is monitoring the progress closely, and we will do everything possible to accelerate the timeline for restoration.

Despite the bleak picture, the prime minister reported that some customers in the parish started receiving electricity on Tuesday morning, including the Black River Hospital.

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