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Monkey shuts down island for seven hours
Tuesday, 31 October 2006
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For more than seven hours today, the normal rhythm of life for Barbadians was disrupted by a power outage.

It affected schools, banks, large and small businesses and showed how integral electricity is to the functioning of a modern society.


CLOSURES

Businesses across the island were forced to closed their doors because of the power outage that struck just after six this morning. For customers it was a major inconvenience.

The power failure also caused the closure of the Garrison Secondary School and this country's highest decision making body Parliament did not meet and will resume next Tuesday instead.

The effects were also felt on the road as traffic lights were out and motorists had to weave their way through busy intersections.

The Barbados Light and Power Company says the outage was caused by a fault on a major line in the Whitehall, St. Michael area.

Attempts to restore the electricity also failed three times before it was finally put back on around one in the afternoon.


MONKEY TROUBLE

A monkey out for an early morning climb probably caused the island wide power outage.

Chief Marketing Officer at the Barbados Light and Power Company, Stephen Worme says the incident occurred north of Codrington Hill, near Whitehall, between the Warrens and Haggatt Hall sub-stations.

The monkey is believed to have tripped a 24 000 and 11,000 volt circuit after it climbed a pole.

Mr. Worme says while they are still trying to find the monkey, they believe that it got the shock of its life.




NO POWER PROBLEMS FOR CWC 2007

The local organising committee for the 2007 World Cup says it is preparing for any eventuality like today's island-wide blackout during its hosting of the super eight or world cup final matches.

World Cup Barbados says just last week it met with senior managers of the Barbados Light and Power Company, who've moved to ensure electrical issues are approached in a wise manner.

World Cup Barbados says while it can't predict the future it's trying to eliminate the possibility of anything bringing down the systems while Barbados hosts the super eight and finals of the premier global cricketing showpiece.


CONTINUOUS POWER

Chief Corporate Communications officer of World Cup Barbados, Francine Charles says Kensington Oval is tied into a two generator system by the Barbados Light and Power Company.

This means that if one generator trips the other automatically kicks in to ensure continuity at the Oval.

Mrs. Charles says if a blackout like today's occurred during Barbados hosting of the tournament, international television coverage won't be compromised.

And Barbados or the other Caribbean won't be embarrassed internationally.

She stated that arrangements have been made for broadcast companies to remain on air during any scenario like today.


Mrs. Charles says the  generators provided for the Oval would have kept them going most of the day to ensure that the close to 30 thousand people filling the ground are not inconvenienced by lack of electricity.

In fact just last week World Cup Barbados met with senior managers of Barbados Light and Power to discuss such an eventuality, stressing that the importance of utility companies is critical.


Today while work halted at several places across Barbados because of a lack of electricity, work continued without any stoppages at the world cup construction sites which are powered by generators.
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