Mandarin residents tired of power outages | News

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Mandarin residents tired of power outages

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The lights are on for now, but any moment residents of this Mandarin home may find themselves sitting in the dark. 

"We're without power at least once a week," said Marcia McLaughlin. 

In her neighborhood, at any moment there could be a power outage.

"We built this house in 2000 and we've had power outages from the moment we moved in but it is worst now," she said. 

Recently there was a power outage on May 4, June 3, June 9 and again on June 10.

"You come home if it's during the day and everything is bleeping," McLaughlin said. "You have to reset your clocks, it is hard on your appliances. The power surge and it is unbearable in the heat."

So, why are there recurring power outages in her Mandarin community? McLaughlin has been looking for answers.

"I've lived all over the United States," said McLaughlin. "I've never been without power on a consistent bases like this without power hour after hour."

The problem is not isolated to her home.

The JEA said there are 4,428 customers on the same circuit facing the same problem.

"We're without power more in the Summer than in the Winter, but we're without power all of the time," said McLaughlin.

Monday she called the JEA's customer service line and told them she had enough. An engineer responded and promised to trim the circuits, move the overhang and inspect the hardware.

If the solution is that simple, as it appears, McLaughlin wants to know, why wasn't the problem addressed before?

"If you're going to continue this then give me a cheaper rate on my power bill," said McLaughlin. "I am an inferior customer obviously so I shouldn't pay as much or fix it. Do something!"

JEA spokesperson Gerri Boyce said McLaughlin is correct. Mandarin is a trouble area and it has been on a JEA list of problem areas to address.

"We recognize there's a problem and we're taking proactive actions to reduce the outages," said Boyce.

Boyce said crews were in the community on Tuesday trimming trees. She said low hanging branches contribute to the problem. 

When asked if the problem is the system, Boyce said it is not. The system can handle the power load, according to Boyce. 

She said crews will inspect and replace fuses and components in the circuit and McLaughlin and her neighbors should see some improvement by the end of July.


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