Editorial for 26 July: Lessons learned in outage

That first flicker of the lights early Wednesday morning was
just a hint of what the rest of the day would be like.

By 6.30am everyone on Grand Cayman was without power.

Our world was plunged into darkness and for many it was a
grim reminder of our days after Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

At press time we still don’t know exactly what caused the
power outage. CUC sent out a press statement saying it was an issue with the
substation in West Bay.

To the credit of the crews at Caribbean Utilities Company,
they worked feverishly to get the problem righted and most of the power on
Grand Cayman had been restored by mid-afternoon.

Unfortunately many businesses were forced to close their
doors and we have heard rumblings that some businesses have refused to pay
workers for the time lost. That’s unfortunate and really not fair for the
employees who did show up to do a job.

We hope that the Wednesday’s outage isn’t a sign of things
to come this long, hot summer.

But Wednesday’s exercise should be a reminder to all that
they need backup plans in place should we experience more power outages.

Just as individuals and businesses should have hurricane
plans in place, they should have contingencies for power outages.

We live on an island.

Power outages can and do occur and while CUC does its best
to get power restored as soon as possible, sometimes the power failures last
longer than usual, as was the case Wednesday.

We hope that CUC has been able to figure out why a
substation in West Bay caused power to go out for all of Grand Cayman and has
come up with ways to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

What we all should take away from Wednesday’s exercise is to
come up with a plan and be prepared.

We are, after all, in hurricane season and there is a high
demand for electricity to cool homes and businesses as temperatures soar



  1. Power outages (though, generally not very often) is a fact of life perhaps not given much thought until they occur. Whether the reasons are attributed to mother nature or system malfunction, it happens in the small island of Cayman as well as the large countries in our world.

    The problem is not so much the problem, but rather solving the problem as quickly as possible to restore power.

    From 6:30 am until mid afternoon is certainly a very long time to be without the juice, and I believe that CUC did its utmost to restore power as quickly as it could.

    I agree with the editorial’s point that everyone needs to have backup plans in place to safeguard against future power outages. Likewise, it is most important for both business owners and individuals during this and all future hurricane seasons.

    If the rumor is true that some businesses refused to pay workers for time lost because of the outage, this is most unfortunate. The workers were not responsible and so employers should rethink their decision. Granted somes business will lose income as a result, but strike the happy medium with workers for mutual satisfaction.

    It is expected that after the dust settles, CUC will issue a report on what actually went wrong and the steps that will be implemented to prevent a recurrence. At least, we know that the West Bay substation was the culprit.

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