Families left without power for weeks

April 20, 2010 3:10:28 PM PDT
More than two weeks after a transformer blew, 43 families in South Houston are still without electricity.

This is not how Deedee Ducharme imagined she's spend most of the month of April, trying to sell Bar-B-Que as a way of raising money to turn the power back on.

"The transformers were 40 years old, on private property, they're damaged, underground wiring--it's all out of code," Ducharme said. "It's not been update in 40 years and the financial burden is laid upon these owners."

Two weeks ago, a transformer blew on the property of the Allen Genoa Condos.

Homeowners thought all they had to do was call CenterPoint. But they found out that since it's on private property, CenterPoint can't fix it. They need to buy their own supplies and hire private electricians.

"It turned out to be a big major thing," property manager Lupe Salinas said. "Since that day, we've been trying to raise money. We're already very, very exhausted already."

The original price tag for the repair is $40,000 to $50,000, but recently CenterPoint says the condos may be able to lower that cost by tying into a new construction nearby.

"It's hard. You can't warm food up you can't do anything," homeowner Susie Loredo said.

Condo owners worry that even if the costs are reduced, they'll still need to raise thousands of dollars. And they're worried that if repairs are not made soon, the city of South Houston may condemn the property.

A yard sale and Bar-B-Que can only go so far, and Ducharme is worried that it may be too late to save her home.

"This is a very time sensitive, and if we don't' do something quick, we may not have homes," she said.

CenterPoint told ABC 13 that they're starting work offsite on poles later on in the week. But they still need private contractors to actually work on electricity at the condominium's property, and that's where the thousands of dollars come in.

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