Low power problems plague Queens neighbors

HOLLIS, Queens (WABC) -- Frustrated homeowners in Queens say it was like living with a Poltergeist when a potentially dangerous low power issue caused their electricity to flicker on and off for months.

But finally, a light bulb went off on a great idea and that's when they called 7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda to lend her special brand of power to the problem.

The flickering lights started with a bang

"The power lines were sparking outside so that scared us, so right away I called ConEd," said ConEd customer Amanda Chinapen.

It was a powerful Valentine's Day kiss from Mother Nature when the storm split the power lines outside Chinapen's Hollis home in half.

And ever since last winter, the power has been paltry-- lights flicker, fans conk out, in fact all the neighbors on their Queens corner say the entire summer they've dealt with either sweltering or turning on the lights -- the energy is not enough to run the AC and the lamps at the same time.

"It's not fair, we're not getting the attention, we are paying the electricity bills and they are not doing anything about it," said ConEd customer Mohammed Khan

Chinapen said she has called every week and left messages but nothing was done.



She said she finally spoke to someone who said they would send someone out in March or April but she says nothing has been done and they never sent anyone.

Her temper almost exploded and so did her kitchen. The impotent power problem means the stove won't light.

The pilot's way too weak to ignite the gas -- leaving Chinapen and her family of six in a dangerous situation when she thought she preheated the oven and went upstairs.

"Gas was going and no fire," she said.

It filled the home with fumes and then she made a near fatal mistake.

"I had to pull the metal part down here to put this in and light it from here," Chinapen said.

7 On Your Side sent video of the stalled stove to ConEd and they came out that same night.

They changed the main wire going to the house and after nine months, Chinapen could finally cook with gas safely.

"Thank you Nina for your help in doing this!" she said.

ConEd said it rewired the whole street.

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