In an emergency situation, it is usually the “boys in blue” who save the day – earning a pat on the back for rendering aid and preserving the peace.
But for their quick and efficient actions following a single-car accident in West Bay early Monday evening, today we also offer thanks to the “guys in green” (and yellow) – the Caribbean Utilities Company crew who secured downed power lines and worked to restore electrical service to the northwest corner of Grand Cayman.
At about 5:15 p.m., amidst heavy rainfall, a woman lost control of the white Honda Civic she was driving, slamming into a wall and a power pole, snapping it in two, and also damaging a second utility pole. CUC estimated that more than 1,700 customers lost power along North West Point Road, Watercourse Road and various side roads in the area.
That particular stretch of asphalt is generally known to be troublesome, particularly in wet weather. The hazards are further multiplied because of the road’s location – in “tourism territory” – near the beach, the Cayman Turtle Centre and dolphin attractions. (The road also, lately, has become something of a magnet for processions of dirt bikers popping wheelies, generating noise and imperiling everyone nearby.)
Several members of our news staff reside in the area, and one editor was on hand to witness the aftermath of the accident and the admirable efforts of the CUC workers, who toiled diligently in conditions both dangerous (amid “live wires”) and uncomfortable (in the wind and rain), until nearly 2:30 in the morning – on the tail end of a long holiday weekend, no less – to get West Bay’s lights, air conditioners and refrigerators turned back on.
It should be noted that CUC’s latest efforts were not a one-time occurrence. Cayman’s energy infrastructure is generally reliable, but accidents do happen. Whenever the power goes out – morning or night, holiday, weekend or workday – residents can trust that CUC is ready to respond.
In addition, CUC does a consistently good job of communicating what is happening to customers who suddenly find themselves, quite literally, in the dark. For example, right at noon on Tuesday, CUC issued a news release explaining in detail what happened during Monday evening’s power outage – along with a photograph suitable for publication.
Although we certainly appreciate CUC’s public relations efforts following electrical outages, we are not eager for a repeat performance any time soon. Accordingly, Cayman’s drivers ought to be especially cautious on the roads this week. There’s rain in the forecast for days to come.
Many of Cayman’s roadways are arrow-straight, but there are exceptions, including North West Point Road. Heavy, or even light, rains reduce visibility, leave pavement slippery and cause standing water to collect on roads, making driving more difficult and conditions potentially dangerous.
Additionally, wobbly cyclists and weaving pedestrians frequently become part of the “traffic mix” along this narrow roadway.
Use caution and common sense: Drive more slowly if necessary, leave extra space between your vehicle and others, allow for additional time for braking and acceleration, etc.
If you do not feel comfortable driving in prevailing conditions, if possible, wait for the weather to clear before putting the car into “drive.”