Gephardt: Frustration As Woman Fights to Have ‘Dangerous’ Broken Power Pole Removed

Jan 20, 2021, 8:13 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A broken power pole stood precariously in Michelle’s backyard of her Avenues home.

“It’s dangerous and scary,” said Michelle of the rotten and mangled pole.

A newer pole stood beside it, replaced in the summer of 2019 after Rocky Mountain Power realized the old pole was hazardous. At that time, Michelle said Rocky Mountain Power told her the utility companies who have their lines on the pole would be notified to move their lines to the new pole.

Michelle said they told her they “can’t come cut it down until the cable companies move to the new pole.”

Both CenturyLink and Comcast have lines on the old pole, and for months, Michelle has called both companies to have the lines moved. It was further damaged in the September wind storm, and some crews came out to assess the pole this past fall.

“They came and saw it, and said ‘Yes, this is terrible,’ and then he left and never came back,” said Michelle. That was in November 2020 and Michelle said she’s been unable to get answers on when the pole would be remedied.

“I want all of these people to do the job they should have done in the summer of 2019,” she told KSL.

The KSL Investigators reached out to each company involved on Michelle’s behalf. Within days, we received answers and action was taken.

In an emailed statement, a Rocky Mountain spokesperson told KSL:

“When we replace a pole that has other utility properties on it, it’s up to those companies to move their property. We notify them, of course, because they typically lease the space on our poles for their facilities. But the fact is, there’s not a lot Rocky Mountain Power can do to compel action. The pole was replaced August 22, 2019. CenturyLink was given notice at that time that they needed to move their facilities to the new pole and remove the stub pole. A second notice was sent Oct. 15, 2019.

“As a result of your inquiry, a crew was sent to evaluate the situation. For safety reasons, the crew moved the telecommunications line to the new pole, secured it temporarily, and removed the stub pole. We again notified CenturyLink via telephone call and email that they need to follow-up to make the attachment permanent.”

A CenturyLink spokesman told us, “We understand this situation is frustrating. Our team has completed the repairs at this location and the customer is satisfied.”

When we spoke with Comcast, its spokesperson said:

“Service technicians visited this address on 11/19 and 11/22 [2020] in order to determine the severity of the issue. We determined the downed pole was not a safety concern. The job was scheduled to be completed in 2021 — after the holiday season — to avoid any service interruptions for our customers during the holidays.”

The rotten old pole is now gone, much to Michelle’s satisfaction.

“In literally three days … the entire issue was resolved by all three companies,” she said. “I want Gephardt to solve all my problems, it was wonderful.”

Have you experienced something you think just isn’t right? The KSL Investigators want to help. Submit your tip at investigates@ksl.com or 385-707-6153 so we can get working for you.

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Gephardt: Frustration As Woman Fights to Have ‘Dangerous’ Broken Power Pole Removed