Third Ward neighbors band together amid ongoing power outages caused by Hurricane Beryl

HOUSTON – People living in Third Ward come together to shine a light on a dark situation.

After Hurricane Beryl caused power outages for millions of CenterPoint Energy customers, neighbors in the MacGregor Park and Riverside Terrace communities are showing resilience.

They’re standing by each other amid ongoing concerns about how the energy giant is handling its restoration process.

“I hate to see her [91-year-old sister] suffer. You know she’s with me. I don’t want my children to suffer, but you know, what can you do?” said Raynor Craft, who has lived in her home for 27 years.

Craft’s 91-year-old sister stood by her side smiling and dancing. Others are helping one another to keep spirits high amid a blackout caused by Hurricane Beryl.

MacGregor Park Super Neighborhood President, Tomaro Bell, her son, and other volunteers went to those affected most. The group handed out chicken and waffles provided by Taste Kitchen and Bar.

“Thank you so much, God bless you,” one neighbor said.

Ice was provided by The Savoy on Emancipation.

“We got a good supply,” said co-owner, Long Watson.

And across the street, Leighton Dickson who owns Leighton’s House of Lamb and Ramen says he fed some 300 people for free.

“We’re in this community, we felt it’s best to give back to the people as much as we can,” Dickson said. “Let them come in, charge their phones up, get some AC, free water, snacks for the kids.”

But this outpouring of neighborly support is partially hinged on what’s been described as feelings of frustration with CenterPoint.

“Allegedly you prioritize by the people who have health conditions and where you have a lot of seniors and elderly people, and y’all are supposed to keep that on the list because you have a lot of people on oxygen, a lot of people on CPAP machines, so I don’t understand why there’s no one here,” Bell said.

“I have four kids that are young, and I have a power line down in my backyard a tree limb fell on it the power line is on the ground, it could be very dangerous,” said Geniece Sergeant.

Geniece Sergeant says so far, her calls for emergency help have gone unanswered.

“We tried calling all of the CenterPoint numbers, we tried calling 311 and we couldn’t get through. We saw a CenterPoint truck earlier, they told my husband it may be two more days till we get power,” Sergeant said.

Earlier today we reached out to CenterPoint to clarify how they prioritize repairs.

Here is the response we got at 10:09 p.m.

“Regarding our restoration prioritization: CNP crews first begin restoring power to facilities vital to safety, health and welfare, such as hospitals, water treatment plants and public service facilities.

After key facilities, we follow our priority restoration process by making repairs to electrical facilities that will return power to the largest number of people first. We continue the restoration process, prioritizing repairs to benefit the greatest number of customers, until power is returned to all customers.”

To access CenterPoint’s restoration status tracker, click here.

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