Mesa power outage: Underground cable fails, SRP makes repairs

Some neighbors in the east valley are upset because they say they've endured power outages not once, not twice, but some six times this summer -- and it's all because of problems with an underground cable.

The Salt River Project says power has been interrupted to 500 to 600 people off and on in Mesa in an area from Gilbert to Lindsay and the Superstition Freeway to Baseline Road.

"Six times in how long?" FOX 10's Steve Krafft asked.

"Within a month, less than a month. 12 hours.. 11 hours," replied Tanisha Lilly.

"What kind of hardship does it cause?" FOX 10's Steve Krafft asked.

"Trying to live in a hot house.. the temperature gets crazy," said Peter Watson. "I mean, you can't sleep, you can't do anything inside the house."

Some neighbors say they've lost money on spoiled food due to now electricity for the refrigerator.

"Three grand.. food, medication.. including everything in our deep freezer as well," said Paul Mitchell.

SRP says it's been a tough problem to fix.

"This is part of an underground cable replacement program we have been working on for some time. What caused the problem was a cable failed quicker than we had expected and the weather, the moist ground, all these things are contributing factors," explained SRP's Kathleen Mascarenas.

SRP says it has installed a temporary above ground cable until the underground one is replaced. It will work with customers who have suffered losses.

"We don't want our customers to be frustrated or without power. That is what we are in business to do," said Mascarenas.

So the power is back on, looks like for good. Meanwhile, SRP is still working on installing a new underground cable four feet below the surface -- that's the long term solution. Neighbors just want the power to stay on.