Service Project: 13 Days Living Without Power Until Community Came Together

On Wednesday, June 19, 2019 – ten days after a large storm that rolled through DFW, causing outages for days – David Goins of WFAA reported that Mr. Robert Crossland in southern Dallas was still without power.

Robbie, an electrician on our team, saw Mr. Crossland’s story on WFAA right after it was published and was moved to help. He immediately shared the story with our team member, Olivia, who leads our community relations.

“I reached out to you because I’m not sure how I would even reach out to the gentleman and coordinate it, but I would love to bring some hope to someone who feels like they are in a hopeless situation.”  -Robbie

After quick coordination on our team, we reached out to David Goins, WFAA reporter, to get in touch with Mr. Crossland.

Robbie visited Mr. Crossland the next day to assess the work needed and coordinated with Albert, a master electrician and owner, to procure the necessary materials.

Every time we complete electrical work requiring a permit, we work with that city’s inspections office, and the work at Mr. Crossland’s home was no different, except for one thing…

The required permit was massively expedited thanks to a fast-paced game of telephone starting with Councilmember Tennell Atkins and his office members Angela and Maria, to Vernon at the City Project Management Division, and finally to James and Richard of the City of Dallas Inspections, and their office members, Nora and Felicia.

Electricians Robbie and Loy completed the work for Mr. Crossland on Friday evening, with expedited inspection provided by the generous folks listed above.

Oncor reconnected Mr. Crossland’s power on Saturday, June 22, three days after the WFAA story was published, and thirteen days after the storm occurred.

We are so grateful to have been among the community members who came together to help. #DallasStrong

Robbie and Albert coordinate to procure needed supplies.
Robbie completes meter repairs.
Loy installs new service mast.

From the WFAA article:

Robert Crossland lost power after the storms two Sundays ago. Ten days later his Highland Hills home just west of I-45 in Oak Cliff, is still dark.

“I’m very disappointed,” Crossland said. “This is the worst thing I’ve had (happen) since I’ve been here.”

Crossland is a stroke survivor, 76 years old and on a fixed income, so he could not fix this.

His neighbor’s tree fell June 9, cutting his power. His neighbor doesn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford to remove the tree.

So Crossland called Oncor – but the public utility doesn’t remove damaged trees on private property. His next call was to the city of Dallas’ 311 line.

Councilmember Tennell Atkins says he heard about the problem late last week.

“It’s not code responsibility to come out and do it (remove the tree),” Atkins said. “We’re doing it to help the community.”

Atkins says he worked over the weekend to coordinate city code department to cut the tree and community court volunteers to haul away the debris.

All of it came together Wednesday.

“This is a lesson, a lesson to be learned,” Atkins told neighbors on the cul-de-sac. “Yeah, there’s no excuse that his lights should have been off for 10 days but once we found out, it took the community getting together to get it done.”

Now Crossland is anxious to get his lights on again.

“It will be like a new day,” Crossland said.

But a new day that is not here yet.

You see, even with the tree gone, Crossland says he can’t afford to hire an electrician – to fix damage to his home – he didn’t cause.

So on Wednesday evening, he planned to stay somewhere else – until he can find the means to get his lights back on.


Links

WFAA article  |  Reporter David Goins  |  Councilmember Tennell Atkins  |  Project Management Office  |  Inspections Office