Neighbors grow frustrated as PNM works to pinpoint cause of broken street lights

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Families say they’re afraid to go out at night because it’s pitch black in their neighborhood. They’re worried drivers won’t see them — but fixing all the street lights has become a real problem.

Alex Trujillo and his neighbors in the South Broadway area don’t go outside after dark.

“These overhead lights that keep the street lit up, they’re constantly out,” Trujillo said.

The lights on Avenida Cesar Chavez from Broadway to I-25 are all out, and neighbors say they’ve been on and off repeatedly over the last year.

“It’s just really unsafe for anyone walking or any of the neighbors in this area,” Trujillo said.

Neighbors want PNM to fix the problem, and PNM says they’re trying. Shannon Jackson with PNM says during the past few months, crews have been narrowing down what may be causing the outages.

“We’ve cleaned the lines, we’ve cleaned insulators, we’ve replaced fuses, we’ve replaced fuse boxes and those lights are still going out,” Jackson said.

Finally, they found a likely culprit, but they’re still not positive.

“There was evidence of copper theft on Cesar Chavez just east of I-25,” she said. “If it winds up being copper theft we’ll continue to do it until it gets fixed.”

Neighbors say they’ve heard that before, but have hope this time is different and they’re not left in the dark too much longer.

PNM says those lights are all powered by the same line, so if one goes out they all do. They do not have a timeline for when this problem might be permanently fixed.

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