Problem Solvers: Power outages plagued neighborhood long before tornado

Posted at 9:29 PM, Jul 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-07 21:29:41-04

PORTLAND, Mich. -- One neighborhood two miles from Portland in a subdivision is experiencing constant power outages. They have had six since the tornado in Portland, but were experiencing outages long before that. Today, 2,700 were affected by the outage, but a fraction of those people, like the people on Meadowrue Street, say they have been experiencing 15 outages for the last three years.

Overall there are about 2,700 people impacted by the sporadic power outages. For many residents a generator has been a way to help cope with the problem.

"Because we have a smaller generators we can’t always run the well pump and the refrigerator and the furnace at the same time, so if it's time to do baths and showers you turn off the refrigerator," said Jeff Ballard.

Stephen Patrick lived in Portland for three years and said his power has gone out 15 times and six of them have been since the tornado. Patrick said there's nothing worse than the noise of a generator.

Consumers Energy said a Tuesday outage was likely due to a tree falling down on one of the power lines. As for the other outages, Consumers is sending an engineer out to investigate next week.

"I have got a 2-year-old and a 5-month-old, and so far its been very unbearable," said Patrick. "It goes off during the middle of the night so we are trying to scramble and figure out how i am going to get up for work. My wife works midnight shift so she is trying to come home and take care of the kids who are struggling to get… you know, my infant needs her warm bottles."

As for residents such as Ballard, he said he's not putting away his generator just yet.