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Neighbors question power surges, CPP responds

Posted at 7:56 PM, Jun 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-06 19:56:32-04

While some people have been dealing with power outages because of the weather, others have had too much power recently. People on Cleveland’s west side said power surges have caused thousands of dollars in damages.

“It was…like a pssst and the magic smoke came out…and the lights were off,” said Bryan Carpenter. He was talking about what happened in October of 2015 with not only his home but others on West Clinton Avenue.  “The neighbors said they heard a pop when the transformer went and then the police and fire showed up.”

Carpenter told us he had about $800 in damages between the microwave, lights, and other appliances. He submitted the damages to Cleveland Public Power and in May of this year got a letter saying there was a thorough investigation but there would be no compensation. “There was no explanation. Just the words we are not at fault. We were not negligent,” said Carpenter.

But let’s rewind to February of 2012 when Carpenter said the same thing happened. He check his lines back then. “I was measuring over 200 volts in one and about 20 volts on the other,” said Carpenter.  The interesting thing is, in 2012, CPP paid the $700 in damages but now Carpenter gets nothing. “They paid for it the first time so, I thought that maybe I wasn’t getting the whole story,” explained Carpenter and he called NewsChannel 5 Investigators to help.

We talked with other neighbors near Carpenter and, although they didn’t want to go on camera, they confirmed they, too, lost appliances and even a boiler heater.

Carpenter wants to know what’s going on after he’s out 700 bucks. “It was money that could have gone towards other things,” he told us.

We called Cleveland Public Power. No one went on camera. Reps sent this response: Power surges can occur for a number of reasons ranging from a car into a pole, downed power lines, and lightning to name a few. We encourage our residents and customers to utilize surge protectors with all of their electric appliances to help prevent loss if this occurs. Individual surge protectors are an option as well as whole-house surge protection, which is now available for less than $200 in many home improvement stores. In the event of a power surge, CPP customers can file a claim with the City of Cleveland Claims department.

One CPP rep told us there was a “situation with the wires” on West Clinton on October 13 last year but she could not yet confirm why the Carpenters were denied on their claim.

We’ll stay on top of it.