Pond Island:— TelEm Group technicians were busy in the field Monday dealing with a spate of reports of equipment damage caused by lightning strikes and flash floods.
The area hardest hit was Belvedere, where a TelEm Group sub-station was struck by lightning leaving the customers in the area with mobile voice and data service and also without fixed voice and Internet service.
According to Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Mr. Eldert Louisa, customers in the Dutch Quarter, Sucker Garden, Middle Region and Defiance areas also had their telecommunication services interrupted Monday morning as a result of the damage to the Belvedere sub-station which also serves these areas.
Mr. Louisa said a backup Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) to control current to critical equipment was damaged and is currently being repaired with the assistance of the equipment supplier.
And to make matters worse, the technical chief reported a flood of calls from customers, also Monday morning, complaining that their ADSL modems for internet connections had been burned by lightning strikes and were no longer working.
“We are taking an inventory of all the reports of damage coming in, but our priority from the start of the work day has been for our technical team to restore service at the Belvedere sub-station and then to work on other affected areas,” said Mr. Louisa.
He is urging customers affected by the storm to call the TelEm Group Help Desk to report their problem so that attention can be given to them as soon as possible.
Mr. Louisa said although the staff was instructed to remain home Monday because of inclement and deteriorating weather conditions, his technical staff were called in to deal with the reports of outages an damage caused by the storm.
“It was all hands to the pump to get our services restored and by 1:00 pm the Network in Belvedere was back on line and we were busy in the field restoring service to microwave connections at Cell sites in Middle Region, Sucker Garden, Defiance and Cay Hill,” continued Mr. Louisa.
The technical chief has apologized to customers for the interruption in service because of the surprise storm but assured that his technical staff is doing all that they can to restore services as soon as possible, and once restored services will continue to be monitored until technicians are satisfied everyone is working normally.
“From the time the team gathered to assess the damage and problems this morning their one focus has been on getting our customers back online without delay,” continued Mr. Louisa, who thanked his team for their outstanding show of commitment to TelEm Group customers.
Meantime, TelEm Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Kendall Dupersoy, said unless there is a repeat of Monday morning’s storm, Tuesday will be a regular work day with the company reopening its doors to personnel and the general public.
Mr. Dupersoy took the opportunity Monday to compliment the Technical Department for dealing expeditiously with the equipment repairs and network restorations after personally meeting with the department Monday for a progress report.
Source: St. Martin News Network
Damage from lightning strikes keeps TelEm Group technicians busy all day Monday.