Cleveland neighborhood complains about too many power outages

Cleveland Public Power looking into compliants

CLEVELAND - A Cleveland neighborhood is complaining about a repeated power outages in their area, and they're hoping Cleveland Public Power will take action.

Pam Lauter and other residents living near Memphis and Fulton Road claim power outages and surges have caused damage to their appliances and expensive electronics.

Lauter told the 5 On Your Side Solutions Center interruptions in power to her home has even happened on completely sunny days.

"It's not even when there is a storm, it could be a perfectly fine day and the power goes out," said Lauter These are not storm related issues." "I've lost computers, I've lost televisions, I've lost laptops."

Lauter believes there are simply not enough maintenance crews on the job in her neighborhood, and claims upgrades are need to the substation that serves her area.

"Their substation has been in disrepair, and is need of updates," said Lauter. "They want to complain that it's a tree problem, then somebody needs to tell me why they have only one tree trimmer for this service area."

John Rakauskas has lived in the neighborhood for more than 25 years, he believes his neighborhood is hit with many more outages than the surrounding neighborhoods.

"You think it's back on and then it's not, some times two or three times," explained Rakauskas.

"We have more power outages than other areas, even in the immediate area. So I think it is really something they should look at. I don't see why the power is on on the other side of Memphis and off here continually."

The 5 On Your Side Solutions Center contacted Cleveland Public Power about this case, and the municipal utility responded immediately.

Cleveland Public Power issued the following statement in response to our story:

Cleveland Public Power appreciates the concerns of its customers in the Denison Avenue area and while we pride ourselves with providing reliable and affordable service the root causes behind power outages are many.

In the service area in question we found that there were six major storms, two hit poles, three cable faults and four instances where trees caused outages. The hit poles would not necessarily be evident to the customer because it didn’t happen in front of their home; however a pole hit anywhere on the feeder can cause an outage to the entire feeder.

The cable faults, which is the breakdown of the cable (from wear and tear etc.) which causes a short in the electrical distribution. This is also something that the customer would not be able to witness because it happens underground.

The issue of tree trimming did become a problem in this community and to eradicate the problem we assigned our tree trimming contractor to that particular neighborhood for three months this year – from March to June. The goal at CPP is to maintain a five year cycle in trimming trees but this year the trees were a little more aggressive. CPP does employee two Clearance Workers and maintains a service contract for the trimming of trees.The substation in question is not in need of repair.

NewsChannel5 also contacted Ward 13 Kevin Kelley about this case, and his office is also looking into reports of a growing number of power outages.

Kelley believes the outages are caused by many overgrown trees, and he plans to contact Cleveland Public Power about its tree trimming staffing levels.

Kelley reports the substation in that area was replaced in 2006, so he doesn't believe the majority of the problem is equipment-related.

Kelley also blames low staffing levels at The Cleveland Division of Urban Forestry for growing tree related outages.

NewsChannel5 and newsnet5.com is committed to following-up on this developing story.

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