Perform Maintenance on Utility Easements

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In the wake of hurricane Irma, more than 80% of Florida was left in the dark due to power outages.  It is clear that Duke Energy was not prepared for this storm or any other incident that could arise.  Many of the outages could have been prevented had Duke Energy performed preventive maintenance on the grid, sub-stations and particularly utility easements.

The purpose of this petition is to place Duke Energy on notice.  We realize Duke Energy is a business and as such, needs to be profitable to keep their shareholders happy.  While we recognize this fact, we believe that Duke Energy needs to also demonstrate a commitment to its customers. 

Since Duke Energy took over the St. Petersburg, Florida area back in 2013, the area has been severely neglected as indicated by the amount of overgrowth in the easements.  The overgrowth is wreaking havoc on the feeds providing power to the communities.  Outages are occurring with light winds due to this overgrowth.

We realize that this affects many neighborhoods throughout St. Petersburg and the surrounding areas, but there are some areas that are in constant turmoil due to the neglect.

REFERENCE: In particular, the areas bordered by 16th Street N (to the West), MLK Street N (to the East), Haines Road N (to the South) and 50th Avenue N (to the North) are experiencing outages that are often lasting for days on end and these outages are not due to storms or heavy winds.  They are due to neglect! There are transformers blowing throughout the neighborhood. The blown transformers are being replaced while others that are of substantial age are not being given a second look until they blow.

This most recent outage occurred prior to 3PM on Sunday September 10th, 2017 while preparing for Hurricane Irma.  Hurricane Irma was nowhere near this area at that time so winds were not at fault for this outage. In fact, there was nothing but a light breeze at the time the outage commenced.  This outage lasted more than 6 days and we the customers find the service response to be unacceptable.  Being the first neighborhood to lose power, it is difficult to understand why this neighborhood was one of the last to be restored.  As previously stated, this area is constantly (at least 3 to 4 times per year) experiencing prolonged outages unrelated to storms or wind and the lack of response by Duke Energy is very perplexing. From a personal standpoint, my last outage prior to Hurricane Irma on July 4th of 2017 spanned a 20+ hour period.

These unnecessary outages are causing undue hardships for the residents.  The loss of power not only impacts our ability to remain cool in the brutal heat of the summer. It severely disrupts the normality of family life. No lights. No hot water. No way to cook.  Some of the local residents rely on their power to run equipment relating to their health and are forced to bear the added expense for lodging so as to be able to power this equipment.  Many of us have been forced to throw away large quantities of expensive food items. Some individuals do not have the income or resources to replace these spoiled foods or the costs related to lodging or eating out at a restaurant resulting in additional financial hardships as they juggle other allocated funds in order to maintain health and feed their families.

As customers that pay dearly for the services provided by Duke Energy, we deserve a resolution to this issue! We the customers are respectfully requesting that Duke Energy perform the required maintenance on the above referenced area in a TIMELY MANNER so as to fix the shortcomings of a system that is clearly in ill repair.

We who have signed this petition are anxiously awaiting a response. As the main point of contact, my contact information follows:

Mark Licarde     1401 43rd Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL 33703

 



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