FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Jennings Street still sits in the dark as the city put daily repairs on hold to deal with damage done by a recent string of copper theft.
Copper theft has become a growing problem since the fall and is leaving work crews backed up across the city, said Traffic Service Manager Mark Mathis. The back up is leaving work undone – including the lights on Jennings.
“Unfortunately, because we’re dealing with the damage from these copper thieves we don’t have a relamp crew right now – they’re a cable replacement crew. We’re all over the city replacing the copper cable that’s being stolen,” said Mathis.
The city crews are saddled with repairing and restoring what thieves have stripped, creating back up even beyond Jennings.
“That’s affecting our service delivery because we’re having to dedicate a crew to deal with that damage,” Mathis said. “I’d say they’re several weeks behind, if not months behind.”
In the meantime, the only lights Jennings has to rely on are the lights of the local clubs, which business owners say makes them feel unsafe.
“It’s made us have to increase our security, makes us look out more and watch out for our people – we care about our community – so we want to make sure they’re safe,” business owner Randy Norman said.
On Monday, crews were out working on worn out wires, restoring light and peace of mind to this downtown community. But other areas could be kept in the dark for some time as the city plays catch-up.
Mathis said priority restoration is given to residential street outages, but says crews are still working to get through all the orders. If you have a streetlight that needs to be fixed, you can call the city’s hotline at 817-392-8100. Mathis said that orders placed on the hotline are expedited.