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Omaha townhome owner frustrated with OPPD’s drawn-out electrical service upgrade

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 6:49 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An OPPD power improvement project in a west Omaha neighborhood looks to be complete but one property owner near the project is becoming increasingly frustrated.

Looking out her backdoor, Dana Siebler doesn’t enjoy the fall colors of orange fencing, yellow tape, and green electrical boxes.

“I feel ignored, forgotten, and angry,” said Siebler.

The upgrading of electrical services for the Wedgewood Townhomes near 120th and Pacific started back in early June. Siebler says new transformer boxes behind her mother’s place are installed and landscaped, yet OPPD hasn’t finished the one behind her own townhome.

Eight times since August Dana says she has alerted OPPD about the unfinished business that has left a tall dirt pile and deep hole in her yard only twelve feet from her back door. It is capped only by a spider web.

6 News reports that the hole measures about four and a half feet deep with almost a foot of water sitting in the bottom. Even though the hole is surrounded by fencing and caution tape, it sits behind Siebler’s townhome with an open backyard.

“If someone did fall in there, I’d be responsible, and I’ve been trying to get them to fix this for months now,” said Siebler.

The potentially dangerous hole has affected Siebler in other ways as well.

“It’s kind of an eyesore so I wouldn’t want to have people over out back with this here,” she said.

This is just another reason that Siebler has demanded OPPD immediately transform her yard back to an enjoyable and safe place to hang out.

“Yeah this is not what you want for your landscaping,” said Siebler.

6 News reports that OPPD contacted Siebler and told her that power will be disrupted for a few hours on Monday to complete the project. An OPPD spokesperson said that crews working on the older transformer in early July had to be diverted for several weeks after three summer storms caused outages.

OPPD apologizes that the transformer replacement has taken longer than anticipated. Read OPPD’s full statement below.

“OPPD is replacing aging underground cable throughout the Metro to improve reliability for its customers. New cable is buried and connected to existing transformers. We also replace aging and unsafe transformers as part of the reliability improvements. We work to keep the lines of communication open with customers throughout projects that affect them, including this particular project. Unlike the newer transformers in this neighborhood, the transformer in this customer’s yard was older. The older models are less reliable and additional work is required to replace it. OPPD completed related cable installation work June 1, and we had a line crew working on the project in late June and early July. Recovery work from the July 10th storm and two additional summer storms diverted all of our resources to power restoration work for several weeks and caused delays. We understand the frustration this delay has caused. We apologize that the transformer replacement has taken longer than we would have liked. We are coordinating with affected customers on the transformer replacement, as it will require a four to five hour power outage to complete the job. This work is scheduled for Monday, October 18.”

Omaha Public Power District

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