Residents get no answer at Cleveland Public Power while trying to report outages

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– The FOX 8 I-Team found many people got no answer when they called Cleveland Public Power to report electricity out after last weekend’s big storm.

Now, Cleveland Councilman Mike Polensek is demanding something be done before the next storm to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen again.

One Collinwood resident told us she called Cleveland Public Power six times. She kept getting a recording saying, “Trouble dispatchers are currently busy.” 

“At least, 20 minutes each time,” she said. Finally, on the last call, someone did get on the line.

Others told the I-Team they had the same problem while waiting in the dark and cold.

“They could not get through for hours, and hours, and hours,” Polensek said. He said he understands the storm was powerful, yet he wonders why customers couldn’t even report where power had gone out. “Have to have a better way of serving the public. There has to be a better system in place.”

When we went to Cleveland Public Power headquarters, we found the building closed to the public because of COVID-19.

But we contacted a spokesperson for CPP and a spokesperson for the office of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. Plus, we left a message on the cell phone for the city’s utilities director. The city did not provide anyone to answer questions for us.

Two of the spokespeople said they’d look into it, but as of late Tuesday afternoon, no one had gotten back to us.

We found you can report an outage on a Cleveland Public Power website, but some folks need help using a computer.

“You want to talk to somebody even if you know they can’t come right away. At least somebody’s talking to you,” the one resident said. “If you don’t pay your bill on time, you get a letter saying you owe and all this kind of stuff. But, it seems when you need something from them, they are not around to help you.”

While many people have had power restored by now, as of Tuesday afternoon, Cleveland Public Power was still reporting some outages.

With Cleveland weather, good chance we’ll see severe storms again soon. Taxpayers hope they won’t keep hearing a recording again when they call the City power company.

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