Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Neighbors to fight for Progress Energy reimbursement

ST. PETERSBURG — Homeowners in the Woodlawn neighborhood are preparing to fight Progress Energy in their quest to be reimbursed for thousands of dollars in property damage they sustained this year.

"We're going to take it to an attorney," said Lynn Woolums, adding that he and his neighbors, Evan Jones and Bama Finocchi, are frustrated that they have not been supported in their effort by the Florida Public Service Commission.

The residents say they lost appliances and electronic equipment during what they described as a power surge and Progress Energy has referred to as "an unforeseen equipment failure" that brought three fire engines, a ladder truck, command vehicle, squad truck and rescue truck to their neighborhood in May.

When Progress Energy rejected their compensation claims, the Woodlawn neighbors complained to the PSC. In an Oct. 2 letter to Woolums, though, the commission said an inspection by its engineering staff "determined that there appeared to be no action that Progress Energy could have taken within reason" to have foreseen the problem.

The engineers recommended that Progress Energy remove vines and complete tree trimming in the area where the trouble occurred.

The PSC also said it could not make a ruling on damage claims. The matter is the responsibility of the courts, it said.

Woolums said he and his neighbors are considering joining with other unhappy Progress Energy customers to fight the utility. After an article about the Woodlawn residents appeared in the St. Petersburg Times, several readers called with similar stories.

Joyce Lakamp of Largo and her husband, Charles, said the utility declined to compensate them for $3,000 in damage.

"They couldn't care less about us, so my faith in them is very little," she said.

Joan Riordan, though, is feeling much more favorably toward Progress Energy. Shortly after the Woodlawn incident, smoke began filling her Seminole kitchen while she was having lunch with her daughter and grandchildren. Progress compensated her for the damage, Riordan said.

Meanwhile, Woolums said he and his neighbors have heard from a Progress Energy maintenance supervisor that the company is three years behind in maintenance.

Suzanne Grant, spokeswoman for Progress Energy, said that's untrue.

"We have an annual maintenance plan, and we are not behind on planned maintenance," she said.

Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at wmoore@sptimes.com or (727) 892-2283.

Neighbors to fight for Progress Energy reimbursement 12/27/08 [Last modified: Saturday, December 27, 2008 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lockdown: Florida's 97,000 prison inmates confined through weekend

    State Roundup

    All of Florida's 97,000 state prison inmates are on lockdown — and will remain confined to their dorms at least through the weekend — in response to unspecified threats about possible uprisings, officials from the Florida Department of Corrections confirmed Thursday.

    Blackwater River Correctional Facility. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  2. Rays Kevin Cash: "We've got to turn it around. ... Time is of the essence"

    Blogs

    The question to manager Kevin Cash was about a rematch with the Mariners this weekend at the Trop, but he made clear this afternoon that with his Rays losing nine of their last 12 that they have to treat every game as essential.

    "We've got to turn it around,'' Cash said. "You can only delay it for so long and …

  3. Should kindergartners be encouraged to conform to peer pressure? One Pasco school suggests so

    Blogs

    A Pasco County elementary school came under fire on social media Thursday for its new behavior expectation charts that suggest conforming to peer pressure is positive, and that running in school is anarchy.

    Deer Park Elementary School has posted this chart of student expectations. Some parents have complained about its terms, such as the suggestion that conforming to peer pressure is positive.
  4. Carnival announces five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Carnival Cruise Line is adding five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba in 2018, Port Tampa Bay announced Thursday.

      Carnival Cruise Line announced additional cruises to  Cuba. Pictured is its Paradise cruise ship departing on its inaugural voyage to Cuba from Tampa. | [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
  5. Lightning wing J.T. Brown on why he donated to remove Confederate statue

    Blogs

    Lightning wing J.T. Brown was back in his Minneapolis offseason home over the weekend when he saw on TV the violent protests in Charlottesville over the removal of a Confederate statue.

    J.T. Brown decided to get involved, donating $1,500 to assist in removing a Confederate statue in Tampa.