Lakewood business owners report broken street lights, concerned about safety

NewsChannel5 contacts FirstEnergy for results

LAKEWOOD, Ohio - Business owners along Madison Avenue are worried about the safety of their customers and their employees after they say Superstorm Sandy knocked out street and safety lights several weeks ago.

Owner of Lakewood's Thai Kitchen, Kwan Suieemee, sent NewsChannel5 pictures of the dark conditions in front of her restaurant.

Suieemee explained how she and her husband have been calling FirstEnergy to get the street and safety lights repaired for more than a month with little results.

"Two times they came out and nobody fixed it," Suieemee said. "They just come and look at it, because they say it's not their job to do that... It's unsafe for us. We're all girls who work here."

Across the street, Madison Wireless owner Ahmad Abuzahreah, is also concerned about the dark street and sidewalks.

Abuzahreah contacted police two weeks ago after vandals broke out some of the front windows at his store. Abuzahreah said he believes operating safety lights could have prevented the incident.

"They broke the windows, so I had to get more neon," Abuzahreah said. "I had to invest in six more neons now. It's a real hazard to the community."

NewsChannel5 contacted FirstEnergy headquarters about the lighting issues on Madison Avenue, and the company responded immediately.

FirstEnergy confirmed it was aware of the safety light problems and pledged to have repair crews on the scene within the next 24 hours. FirstEnergy urged residents and business owners to report street and safety light outages as soon as possible.

Residents can report lights by calling a FirstEnergy Contact Center, or through the FirstEnergy website .

Residents should take note of the pole number listed on a vertical metal tag associated with the broken light when filing a report.

Residents should also note any landmarks near the light in question in their report to help repair crews find the broken fixture.

"I'm glad that you're out here making sure everything gets done," Abuzahreah said. "It's been longer than a month and I appreciate the fact that you're on our side."

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