Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, is appealing to Jamaicans still without electricity, to continue to exercise patience.
She said the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) has been working hard to restore service following the passage of Hurricane Sandy last week.
“I think as a country, we really can’t complain about the level of work the JPS has done. When we look at some of the areas they have to go into and we are talking about seven days after…significant damage, and we have about 90 per cent of the country back with electricity, I think we have to give them some commendation," she said.
The Information Minister was speaking on Wednesday October 31 during the Jamaica House Press Briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in Kingston.
“I know that people are impatient…because we have become accustomed to going home and turning on the television…and when you cannot do that you become frustrated. I think we have to be realistic,” she added.
She posited that the light and power company has to ensure that all their systems are in place before they can reconnect the power to ensure safety and security of its customers and workers. "JPS, they have to reconnect light across the island, they are never going to have enough crew members and they had other challenges where they had to be bushing areas,” she said.
The Minister noted that in first world countries such as the United States of America, whenever they lose power, service takes some time before it is restored, as every company has to do their checks and balances to ensure that all systems are safe before restoration.
JPS is reporting that it has significantly reduced the number of customers without power over the last two days.
According to the JPS, about 24,000 customers were brought onto the grid since Monday (October 29), leaving approximately 36,000 customers without power at the end of restoration efforts Tuesday night (Oct. 30).
The majority of customers still without electricity are in the parishes of Portland and St. Mary, where JPS faces challenges of access and extensive damage to its infrastructure.