Bill Capo / Action Reporter

NEW ORLEANS -- Reports of broken streetlights are coming in from across town, from Carrollton to New Orleans East.

'It's so scary and it's so dark up in here at night that you can't see anything in front of you,' said Lucinda Anderson. 'You can't even see your hand in front of you.'

Lucinda Anderson even sent still pictures of how dark it is on her New Orleans East street. She said no one goes out at night, and there's been no help from the city.

'We called so many times,' said Anderson. 'This has been going on since 2006.'

'Has called the city at least five times in November with no response,' added French Quarter Property Owner John Ferrara. 'He's called in December. I've called myself.'

Even the French Quarter has burned out streetlights, three on this block. Lights residents installed on their buildings are helpful, but still they worry.

'It's not inviting for anyone, whether it's a person who lives on the street, or a tourist, to walk into a dark area,' said Ferrara. 'They tell you that in crime prevention, don't go into areas that are dark.'

The city's director of Public Works says streetlight repairs stopped from October through December for a federal environmental review, and now there is a major backlog.

'Right now we're tracking a total of about 4700 outages across the city,' said Public Works Director Mark Jernigan. 'The majority of those are routine outages that we just need to get to.'

Mark Jernigan said that since repairs resumed in January, they've been prioritizing those where public safety issues are involved, those out the longest, and the 1600 left over from last year.

'We're managing this weekly, light fixture by light fixture,' said Jernigan. 'We're averaging about thirty work orders a week to try to get through and process.'

Jernigan said he wants to get all the broken streetlights repaired as quickly as possible. The problem is, there's that huge backlog.

'We're probably talking six to nine months to work through the backlog that we've currently got now,' Jernigan said.

By that time, there will be more.

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