Oakland neighborhood hit with 19 power outages in 2 years, including one on Christmas

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- People in Parkridge Estates in the Oakland Hills charge PG&E with leaving them in the dark -- literally. They experienced more power blackouts in the last two years than they can count.

They say the number of outages surged this year as the pandemic left most of them working out of their homes. They call the situation disruptive and frustrating.

On home security video you can see the lights suddenly flickering on and off.

"Are you kidding me. Oh my God. A power outage," said an exasperated Martin Hevezi.

It's the nineteenth unplanned power outage he's endured in two years.

It happened just days after they say another outage happened -- on Christmas Day.

"I was in the middle of cooking Christmas dinner. And it went off for 20 hours. So Christmas dinner was ruined," said Brenda Jackson Blaisch.

An outage also occurred the night before Thanksgiving.

All this on top of numerous planned power outages in the same area during times of fire danger.

Hevezi admits his patience has run out. "I mean we lose internet. We lose light. We lose heat. It's disruptive in the summer, but it's triple disruptive in the wintertime."

For 18-year old Jackson Blaisch, outages mean more than being cold, it's traumatic

"Can be dangerous," he said. "Electricity can be dangerous."

His father explains his son lives with autism and has been taught to stay away from high voltage lines. "Again because of Jackson, our son, because he doesn't handle it well."

The Parkridge Estates consists of about 70 homes, but they say a cluster of 19 homes (which they've sarcastically dubbed the "Darkridge 19") have been hit particularly hard.

Fed up, the residents called both the California Public Utilities Commission and 7 On Your Side.

We contacted PG&E, which blamed some of the outages on bad weather and animals in the area. The company also said the number of outages is not acceptable and thanked the residents for their patience.

Repair crews came out earlier this month and traced the problem possibly to a bad transformer. They've since replaced it along with other equipment.

"Fingers crossed. We hope this has done the trick. It's really, I think a wait and see at this point," said Stephanie Hevezi.

We'll stay in touch with the families and let you know if they experience more power disruptions.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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