Resident in one New Orleans neighborhood say they are afraid to go out at night because the lights on their street don’t work — and it has been that way since Hurricane Katrina smashed into the city in 2005.
“When the sun goes down, we don’t have no lights at all,” Lisa Bieniemy, a homeowner who lives in a subdivision in the Algiers area of the city, told WWL-TV.
The streets are kept partially illuminated by porch lights and Christmas lights.
Bieniemy said she uses a flashlight to walk one block to see her mother, according to the WWL-TV report.
“It’s a nice neighborhood subdivision, but at night time you can’t take a chance out here walking by yourself. It be so dark,” she said.
Bieniemy and her neighbors say it has been like that since the hurricane. The lights apparently went out right before Katrina hit and they’ve been that way ever since.
“They’re like, y’all have not had streetlights since y’all moved here,” said neighbor JoAnn Veal.
Veal explained that when she moved into her house in Cazelar Plantation Subdivision in 2003, it was supposed to be a gated community, meaning the streets would be handled by a private contractor.
However, it’s still not a gated community and the lights still don’t work.
The city defends itself, saying that lights are the responsibility of developer A.J. Ward, adding that the developer didn’t build the streets to the “city standards for safety and maintenance.”
“We’re suffering because if we come home late at night, we have to either call the neighbors and say we’re on our way home. They’re either looking out for us to see and make sure we get inside,” said Veal.
Residents in nearly 84 homes remain on the alert.
“My kids wanna’ come outside. Stand outside with me, we can’t come outside no more, because when it’s lights out, it’s lights out,” said resident Derrick Collins.
Collins said it’s been far too long for the streets to go without lights.
“People are getting robbed. It’s not safe for the kids. They should do something about it. They said they were going to do something about it but never did nothing about it,” said Collins.
Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter