TERRA CEIA ISLAND, Fla. (WFLA) — Driving through Terra Ceia Island at sunset, you can understand why residents love it there.

“The childhood that my son is having here is the childhood that I could only dream of for him,” gushed Stefanie Coppes, a Terra Ceia resident. “Tons of kids to play with, beautiful park with a playground.”

But beyond the still water, private docks and quiet neighborhood is a power grid more akin to a house of cards.

“It’s kind of a running joke,” laughed Brett McQuade. “I describe it as third-world power over here.”

In numerous interviews with 8 On Your Side, neighbors say the community endures multiple power outages every week — sometimes twice a day.

McQuade works from home in Terra Ceia.

“The uncertainty kind of sucks too,” McQuade explained. “Sometimes it can be a blip. And sometimes it can be six hours. It’s a crapshoot and you never know when it’s coming.”

His wife, Dawn Walker, doesn’t work from home but is still frustrated and annoyed.

“Coming home from a long day of work, you don’t know if you’re going to be able to cook dinner at home,” Walker said. “If it’s going to interfere with your normal routine of things.”

Residents believe the outages happen because of precarious poles like one on Terra Ceia Road, held upright by rope and a prayer. Residents say that a driver crashed into the pole before the College Football Playoff National Championship, causing an island-wide outage that lasted for hours.

Power pole on Terra Ceia Road held up by a rope. (WFLA)

There are drooping power lines and vegetation interference all over the island too. One power line on Leps Road droops so much that a truck might be able to touch it if it drove off the road. Residents say the lines are vulnerable to a light breeze.

“But more recently it just happens all the time,” said Nell McPhillips. “And for longer periods of time.”

McPhillips and her husband use WiFi calling in their house, which makes outages a health and safety hazard if they needed to dial 911 and couldn’t.

“If I were to fall and my husband wasn’t there,” McPhillips said. “I have to crawl out the door to get barely two bars of service.”

In a statement to 8 On Your Side, Florida Power and Light, the provider for the island, said the following:

FPL is actively working to address localized outages affecting customers over the last several weeks in Terra Ceia. In addition to safely and quickly restoring power to customers, we’ve also cleared vegetation – one of the leading causes of power outages – away from lines in the neighborhood. We are committed to providing reliable service and will continue to work in the area to identify any other potential issues and ensure customers receive the service they expect. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and thank our customers for their patience and understanding.

FPL Spokesperson Marshall Hastings

According to neighbors, FPL recently sent out crews and flew drones to scout out the island. Residents just hope the fixes come sooner rather than later.