Barbara Sherry power problems update: Boynton Beach woman settles FPL claim

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - The power goes on and off in one Boynton Beach neighborhood so much that one homeowner said it's damaging her appliances.

"For one year I was powerless. Just powerless," said Barbara Sherry recounting the time she spent fighting Florida Power and Light.

Powerless to take action, and without power for moments at a time.

In August , we shared Sherry's power problem. She believes the momentary interruptions of power damaged more than $17,000 in appliances. Florida Power and Light denied the claim in June.

"Nothing was happening at all. Then you came down here. Hit the ground running. You did your investigative reporting. Just just found out things I didn't know before and you opened the box," Sherry explained.

We found Florida Power and Light replaced equipment at 11 locations within 15 miles of Sherry's home.

On April 17, 2013, FPL did a thermography line inspection and identified 4 locations of lightning arresters, 2 locations of insulators and a fuse switch that needed replacing along the main feed on Military Trail, Lawrence Rd and Gateway Blvd.

On January 24, 2013, FPL replaced a connecting cable on a disconnect switch because it was operating above normal temperatures. This equipment was located on Boynton Beach Blvd, just east of Sun Valley Rd.

On May 1, 2013, FPL did a full visual line inspection and found equipment that needed to be replaced along Boynton Beach Blvd and El Clair Ranch Road. This included 5 locations of damaged lightning arrestors, one fuse switch, and an insulator.

On June 3, 2013, a damaged fuse switch was replaced at the corner of Boynton Beach Blvd and Military Trail.

Florida Power and Light told us the problem is related to momentary power interruptions which are often mistaken as power surges. FPL said these interruptions are a sign the system is protecting you and preventing damage to the utility's electrical system.

You can learn more about this issue from the Florida Public Service Commission .

We asked FPL to take a second look at Sherry's claim, since Sherry believes the momentary interruption caused damage. After an internal investigation, Sherry and the power company came to a settlement agreement.

We asked, "Did you think this day would come?"

"No, I didn't. Not until I met you. The day that you got out of that truck and came to my house I had full confidence that yes something definitely positive was going to happen," Sherry told the Watchdog. "I have to tell you Jenn, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart."

FPL did not have any comment on the settlement. Previously, the company issued the following statement:

"FPL is aware that some residents of the Jonathans Creek Development were experiencing momentary power interruptions that may be noticeable by customers and sometimes mistaken as ‘power surges.' We apologize for any inconvenience these might have caused and are not aware of any damage caused by our service in this neighborhood. While our reliability rate of 99.98 percent is the best in the state, we know there's always room for improvement. That's why we have taken steps to improve service reliability, including replacing equipment on the power lines last month that serve this community. In addition, over the next year, we will be strengthening the main power lines and equipment serving this area, which will help improve everyday reliability and prevent outages when severe weather strikes. FPL will continue to closely monitor the service and the equipment serving the Jonathans Creek Development."

After our story in August, we've heard from other people experiencing the same on and off power switches which the homeowner believes caused damage. If you have a damage complaint, you need to file a claim with the utility. The other homeowners we spoke to did not file a claim.

 

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