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Lighting the way: Fixing streetlight outages

Lighting the way: fixing streetlight outages
Posted at 9:40 PM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 23:22:41-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Public input plays a crucial role in getting non-functioning streetlights working again.

Whether a light is the responsibility of the city, AEP Texas, or the Texas Department of Transportation, someone noticing an outage and reporting it is often what starts the repair process.

“We always want to know what motorists and residents are encountering on our roadways,"

Tex-DOT Corpus Christi District Public Information Officer Rickey Dailey said. "So, if there is a deficiency, we can take care of it.”

Lights along major highways like Interstate 37 and South Padre Island Drive belong to TexDOT, and Dailey says the agency does a lot to ensure that they're working.“Tex-DOT has a robust program to not only maintain the lighting system but also get information on where there might be deficiencies," he said. "We do night drives.

"Crews driving around checking for streetlight outages is not limited to TexDOT.

The city's Public Works Department does weekly assessments and reports outages to the proper entity. Most often that entity is power company AEP Texas.

Once the company gets an outage report, a self-imposed three working-day deadline begins with a money back guarantee.

“If we don’t meet that three-day deadline, then we have to provide a credit to our cities," Omar Lopez from AEP Texas's Corporate Communications Department said. "So, we won’t charge for the service."

Unlike TexDOT and the city, AEP does not patrol the city for non-functioning streetlights.

Instead, they rely on outage reports from the city and residents.

“Customers are really good about reporting streetlights," Lopez said. "So, we always have a continuous number of reports coming in. So, we don’t really have to do the nighttime drives right now.”

To contact AEP Texas to report a streetlight outage click here.

To contact TexDOT to report a streetlight outage click here.