Case Study: Bermuda Electric Light
Company, Hurricane Preparedness
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The islands of Bermuda are located at the top of the
ís tropical cyclone basin. From June through November, tropical storms
can grow into hurricanes that threaten the islands. Geologists have
found 1,000-year-old evidence of hurricanes in the region, and activity
has been recorded for the past 100 years. Even though satellite imagery,
advanced weather science, and the Internet are available to modern
, Mother Nature still reigns as queen.
Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited (BELCO) is Bermudaís sole
supplier of electricity, operating a generating plant and transmission
and distribution systems throughout the
is to meet the energy requirements of the people and businesses of
economically, safely and reliably. BELCO serves approximately
BELCO is a long time user of ESRI ArcGIS software and
has also recently implemented the ArcFM Solution. These solutions
were chosen for several key reasons. BELCO wanted to reduce the
amount of redundant data entry by storing as much data in a single
database repository as possible. Second, the utility wanted to
have a more accurate representation of their facilities including their
secondary network, and finally there was a need to maintain the customer
and facility data that resided in their outage management system (OMS).
In 2003, hurricane Fabian hit
with sustained winds of 120 mph. The islandís weather station recorded
wind gusts up to 164 mph before the wind gauge was blown apart. The
hurricane battered the island for eight hours and cut power to 25,000
customers and approximately half of the 150 mainline circuits were lost.
Following the ensuing three weeks it took for BELCO to completely
restore power, the staff realized the benefits that GIS, CIS, and OMS
could bring to their organization during the restoration efforts.
As a result of hurricane Fabian, BELCO contracted with
OneGIS, Inc., an ESRI Business Partner to design and build a GIS based
damage assessment tool which is now known as the Incident Survey Tool.
The Incident Survey Tool provides a solution for data maintenance,
editing, and reporting that fits into the high-pressure business tasks
that occur during and after a hurricane or other natural disaster as
well as normal everyday occurrences. It is designed to allow the end
users to collect and maintain damaged pole information which is then
loaded into a single database environment where crews can be dispatched
and assigned to repair the damage. The tool will also ensure that
all work is tracked until completion. In addition, reports can be
generated on damage to a particular circuit or specific damage types
such as downed or leaning poles. This is used to help management
decide how best to mobilize the teams of people and to prioritize the
work once the initial restoration activities have been completed.
In preparation for the 2006 hurricane season, which meteorologists are
predicting to become the fiercest on record, BELCO is implementing the
ArcFM Viewer Redline extension, which will allow the crews to make notes
in the GIS at the same time they are collecting the pole damage
information. In addition, a refresher training course will be
conducted in May in anticipation of storms that are sure to pass by the
island this year.
weathered last yearís hurricane season without a major incident. BELCO
hopes to eventually create a public access Web site where they will be
able to provide the public with information about outages, restoration
efforts, and more.