For families who live on one street in Nashville, severe weather forecasts are downright scary. Neighbors said they have been battling Nashville Electric Service for years to get help with serious power surge issues on their street.
Every time there are storms on Gartland Avenue, light bulbs shatter, the power goes out and, Kourtney Wilson said, a power surge destroys appliances throughout her home.
"No power to my dishwasher. The entire circuit board has been burned out. The microwave goes out. These are hardwired items," said Wilson.
After years of turning off everything before a storm, now her concerns have shifted.
"My 7- and 4-year-olds last week during the middle of the storm came running into my room saying, 'Mommy, there are sparks in my room,'" said Wilson. "That's not right."
The Wilsons and dozens of their neighbors on one side of Gartland said there's something wrong with the line of transformers that service their homes. For more than a year, the transformers have not protected them from power surges, and neighbors like Matt Glassmeyer have called NES over and over filing claims and complaints, but nothing has changed, he said.
"When our power strip exploded, we thought our house was on fire, and we smelled an electrical fire," said Glassmeyer. "We figured it was time to stop just calling NES and filing our little claim."
NES said it hasn't had one complaint filed since October 2009.
"Right now, we're showing nothing," said NES spokesman Tim Hill. "The first report we got was April 20 of this year, following when the storms came through that day."
"It infuriates me to hear NES has said there are no complaints. You can go door to door," said Wilson.
But NES said it doesn't know about the problem, possibly because the customers used the wrong wording. They said instead of calling it a claim, they should have called it a reliability claim.
"But can you understand how people don't know to say reliability?" asked Channel 4 reporter Regina Raccuglia.
"Of course," said Hill. "I understand they're frustrated."
"I'm extremely frustrated because I have three children whom we love dearly, and should something happen and we didn't do everything we could, who's to blame?" said Wilson.
Hill said NES is dispatching crews to reexamine poles, power lines and the transformers in that area to double-check possible problems.
To report home damage to NES, call 615-736-6900. Call 615-234-0000 to report a power outage.