Crash, weather knock out power

Grand Cayman’s sole electricity provider said it’s sorry that more than 10,000 customers lost power over the weekend, blaming lightning strikes and a car accident for the blackouts. 

According to a Caribbean Utilities Company news release, on Sunday two distribution circuits out of the South Sound substation were disabled by lightning strikes for about an hour, causing customers in South Sound, Walkers Road and Crewe Road to lose power. Similarly, lightning on Sunday damaged distribution transformer equipment in West Bay and Bodden Town, causing smaller outages. 

Early Saturday morning, a 31-year-old man drove his car into a CUC pole along the Linford Pierson Highway, cutting power to customers in South Sound and all areas east through Prospect, Bodden Town, East End and North Side. 

The driver was arrested at the scene of the one-vehicle accident near Rankin Drive on suspicion of DUI and dangerous driving, according to police. Police said the crash caused two utility poles to catch fire, including the pole that the Ford Edge the man was driving crashed into when the vehicle left the road. 

According to CUC, the accident took out a main transmission line and two distribution circuits. 

Customers lost power for varying durations between 1:21 a.m. and 5:37 a.m. 

“The impact due to the loss of the transmission circuit was more severe than normal as the alternate routing of power through the Rum Point submarine cable was not available as maintenance work was being conducted in the Rum Point substation. CUC personnel responded to restore power to all areas through the submarine cable while the replacement of the pole and equipment at the scene of the accident was carried out. Crews worked throughout the early morning hours and into the afternoon on Saturday when repairs were completed at 1:30 p.m.,” according to CUC. 

West Bay pole hit by lightning

This electricity pole on North West Point Road in West Bay was struck by lightning, knocking out power for local residents. – PHOTO: NORMA CONNOLLY