CUC responds quickly to downed power line

Some residents on Cumber Avenue in Bodden Town were frantic Wednesday morning when a fallen electrical wire caused a loud boom and sparks to fly.

But the quick response by Caribbean Utilities Company, from calls put in by residents at 8.15am, soon had linesmen Ronnie Minzett and Andrew Wood reconnecting the fallen 120 volt wire and power restored to residents by 9.30am.

The fallen power line had left some residents without electricity for a short while but caused no other damages.

‘I was coming down the stairs when I heard the loud bang and saw sparks fly,’ said concerned resident Tina Bush. ‘The wire just fell and connected with a fence.

‘It is such a relief that the wire did not injure anyone. School children pass this way every day to get to the bus on the main road. It is a good thing that it did not happen when one of these children was passing.’

Ondina Wood, concerned about the danger the wire posed to passing motorists and walkers, stopped cars and informed the drivers to turn around and go the other way.

Senior resident Cedric Levy, whose home is connected to one of the poles, said he did not know what caused it but it was the second or third time that it had happened.

Linesman Andrew Wood said that sometimes corrosion and salt air will cause a wire to snap. The loud boom that residents heard may have been caused from the two wires coming in contact when one snapped.

In the meantime linesman Ronnie Minzett in the bucket truck pulled up the fallen wire and with connectors crimped and re-hooked the fallen wire.

Some residents wanted to know if they should be aware of this kind of thing happening occasionally but were informed that most of the wires were recently replaced after Hurricane Ivan.

‘Usually after bad weather we try and schedule line washing. There are many lines and it is a long process,’ said a CUC spokesperson.

It is recommended people keep well away from power lines. If it falls on the car stay put until help comes, and do not touch a fallen wire but make a quick call to CUC or notify 911 to secure the area until the truck arrives.

On CUC’s website – www.cuc-cayman.com – more information is available about the dangers of fallen wires and electrical safety tips.

Safety tips

CUC understands the need for its customers to carry out electrical repairs around their homes and would like to offer the following safety tips and guidelines:

Always switch off breakers or unplug appliances being repaired.

Electrical tape and connectors must be used to properly insulate wires.

Never make repairs to weather heads unless disconnected by CUC.

CUC’s wires are 17 feet above ground. Always check the height of any equipment you may be transporting.

Never pick fruit from trees with wires passing through them. Call CUC for possible rerouting of lines or trimming of trees.

Never fly kites near lines. Should the kite make contact with lines, do not attempt to pull it free and contact CUC immediately.

Always check for correct voltage to equipment before energizing.

Crane and backhoe operators should always be alert when working in close proximity of low, overhead wires.

Avoid leaving extension cords outside for long periods. Never overload cords beyond rating.

If ever in doubt regarding electrical wires or appliances call an electrician.

Reporting outages

CUC has a 24-hour fault reporting number for customers to report and obtain outage information. The number is 945-1CUC (1282) and features a computerized telephone system capable of handling 16 calls simultaneously, 24 hours a day. The system has caller ID and uses customer information to identify the location of outages and dispatch repair crews.

When you call this number, you will be given step-by-step instructions to report outages. The options will include:

Press 1 – if your power is out due to unknown causes.

Press 2 – if your power is out and you know the cause.

Press 3 – for reasons other than power outages.

CUC must have accurate telephone numbers, house or building numbers and street addresses for the system to operate effectively. Please check your current bill and notify CUC’s Customer Service Department of any changes.

CUC says the telephone system will allow its response team to process fault reports more efficiently and enhance its.

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