OMAHA, Nebraska – Residents on a street in midtown Omaha have been hesitant to venture outside at night for weeks.
They assert that Omaha Public Power District has kept them in the dark for too long.
Two neighbors walking from the front porch to the sidewalk around 34th and Hawthorne vanish into the darkness, which is why they have called OPPD.
Judy Alderman, a local resident, stated, “I’m furious because it shouldn’t take this long to repair the street lights.”
On June 22, the OPPD received the initial report of around four outages on one block. However, residents claim that their street has remained dark for more than two months.
“I don’t come out much at night but if I would, I wouldn’t feel safe,” homeowner Darryll Lewis said.
Darryll is worried about people and their belongings. He claims that roughly two weeks ago, vandals took advantage of the fact that he parked beneath a malfunctioning traffic light.
The vehicle of Darryll was broken into in a failed attempt to steal it.
“It would allow my security camera to capture the identities of the people but because it was so dark, I could only get silhouettes.”A houseguest stays near to the house after nightfall.
“First I tried to get focused to see what’s out there somebody could be standing right there and I wouldn’t be able to see them,’ Richard Bias said.
OPPD asserts that the cluster outage has been a top priority, but it occurred during a perfect storm of high summer demand elsewhere and crew shortages caused by COVID. Moreover, it is not an easy remedy.
“This one takes more than just troubleshooting a single light that’s out,” Wyndle Young with OPPD said. “We have to fix underground cable, that requires boring crews, cable so this was more of a complex outage.”Judy Alderman snapped photographs of an electrical subcontractor working on street lights after 6 News contacted OPPD.
After at least two months, Judy and her neighbors should anticipate lighter nights and not merely rely on what occurs spontaneously.
The OPPD does not remotely monitor city streetlights. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the public to promptly report any outages that occur.
As of Monday, 10:26 p.m., the streetlights along 34th Street have been restored.