Noisy, smelly generators have Keys residents on edge 7 months after Irma

(WSVN) - It has been seven months since Hurricane Irma, and many parts of the Florida Keys continue to rebuild. But one project in particular has neighbors stuck in their homes and even losing sleep. 7’s Brian Entin investigates.

Just imagine having this running next to your house…

All day … and all night.

Lee Craig, Keys resident: “It is aggravating. We don’t get a decent night’s sleep.”

These generators in neighborhoods throughout the Lower Keys have been on nonstop — for seven months.

Leonard Alonzo, Keys resident: “This generator has been here since the hurricane.”

And the noise isn’t the only problem.

You can smell the diesel exhaust all the way down the block.

Krystal Siwek-Threlkeld, Keys resident: “Twenty-four seven. And the fumes are terrible.”

Leonard Alonzo: “I have been fighting with AT&T to get it moved because the fumes blow right into my house!”

We found AT&T generators on Ramrod Key, on Little Torch Key, and there are more on Big Pine Key.

AT&T won’t say exactly how many there are, but says the generators are keeping their network powered while they continue to make repairs from Hurricane Irma.

Lee Craig: “I really don’t care about the internet. I want my sleep!”

Neighbors say they have called AT&T again and again. They have been offered discounts on their bills, but they say that is not what they want. They want these generators gone.

Krystal Siwek-Threlkeld: “Just get the thing out. Take it away!”

In a statement to 7News, AT&T says, “Following a disaster, our priority is to get our customers back in service as quickly as possible. Due to the extensive damage to our facilities caused by the recent hurricane, we deployed additional equipment, including generators, to connect those affected. We’re nearly completed with our repairs and expect the generators to be removed soon. We apologize for any disruption this has caused.”

Brian Entin: “We’re doing a story on the generators.”

A Monroe County electrician told me they’re doing final inspections — and the AT&T equipment should be connected to regular power soon.

In the meantime, AT&T has tried to make the situation a little better by bringing in less noisy generators.

Leonard Alonzo: “It’s not a smaller one, it’s a quieter one.”

Brian Entin: “This is quieter?”

Leonard Alonzo: “Yeah, you should have been here when they had the other one here!”

Krystal Siwek-Threlkeld: “Loud. Annoying. Stinks.”

Neighbors have already been through so much recovering from Irma. They’re ready for some peace and quiet.


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