Two major outages in three weeks

POSTED: 06/14/12 12:21 PM
A fault near Gebe’s power plant in Cole Bay led to a power outage across the Dutch side on Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Leo Brown)

St. Maarten – A technical fault close to the power plant has been named as the reason for Wednesday afternoon’s blackout. The entire Dutch side lost power mid-afternoon and the power returned in increments beginning at 5:30 p.m.

“The island is currently experiencing a total black out due to a technical fault close to the power plant. More info will follow shortly,” was the message posted on utility company Gebe’s Facebook page just after the outage occurred.

Later they’d post, “Gebe expects power to all areas to be restored by 5:30 pm. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.”

This is the second time in just over three weeks that the utility company has had to deal with a major outage. On May 28 a transformer house in Weymouth Hill blew out causing a major outage in that area and a short circuit led to an outage in Belair, Saunders, most of Colebay and Pelican.

Every outage by the utility company prompts outrage by members of the community. There are at least two known Facebook groups where people can vent their frustrations.

“Dear NV GEBE, I would just like to tell you how much I enjoyed watching the Euro Cup Match between Holland vs Germany….oh wait….that’s right…I DIDN’T SEE THE GAME. WHY? Because you MORONS cut the electricity 20 minutes before the match and restored it 10 AFTER the match. I can see this summer will be a repeat of last summer in terms of NV GEBE’s incompetence,” Tatu Caron posted in the 863 member group “Gebe sucks and needs to change”.

There were no posts at press time in the group “G.E.B.E sucks!! G = Generating E = Everything B = But E = Electricity”.

People who commented on the company’s Facebook page questioned how long the outage would last and were thankful they could get speedy updates.  Others took the opportunity to complain.

“Inconvenience? How about loss of business,” Sebastian Hoekstra wrote.

Viral Joshi wrote, “Its two years and u haven’t complete grenada n gaudloupe rd project. 10million in profit n still same service. What is this?”

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