Golden Gate Estates residents heated over constant power outages

Reporter: Amy Galo Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

The heat is not always fun and games. It can be dangerous and downright brutal, especially without air conditioning.

That is true for Golden Gate Estates residents. Their power has been going in and out, making it hard to cool their house down during the constant heat.

Residents said they are experiencing outages almost daily, which can last anywhere from a few seconds to 20 minutes.

“It was unbelievable,” said Debbie Trovato, a Golden Gate Estates resident. “There was 10 on-offs within three minutes.”

Residents have had enough.

“It’ll happen up to six times in a day, and it’s almost on a daily basis,” said Kayla Benson, a resident.

Having the power go out five to 15 times a day is a normal occurrence for many homeowners, and it’s starting to cost them.

“I had to put a whole new air conditioning system in,” Trovato said. “I, just last week, I lost the microwave above my stove.”

WINK News asked Lee County Electric Cooperative what was going on after many residents expressed their frustrations. They said the heat has a lot to do with it.

“It does get worse during the summer months,” Benson said.

A spokesperson with LCEC said momentary outages called “blinks” are common in the area, caused by excessive loading due to high temperatures or when the usage is high.

“But that was the case last year, too,” Trovato said.

Residents want a more permanent solution. If the system is overloaded, they said, upgrade it to one suited for the growing population.

“I had a lineman come out to my house, and he had actually mentioned that it’s all of the development,” Benson said.

LCEC said they are working towards installing equipment to reduce the load on the current system. They said residents can help save energy and reduce the load by keeping the A/C at 78 degrees.

“That’s kind of silly, because you should be able to run your A/C,” Benson said.

They also recommend grilling outside instead of using the oven and avoid using hot water during peak hours.

“I think that’s very funny. First of all, I hardly ever have to use my hot water heater,” Trovato said.

LCEC said they recommend residents to invest in battery back-up and surge protectors for appliances and electronic devices. That can also help avoid momentary outages.

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