- Associated Press - Thursday, December 24, 2015

REIDSVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Some Reidsville residents are concerned about tall utility poles erected by Duke Energy to replace the wooden poles in front of their homes.

The News & Record of Greensboro reports (https://bit.ly/1QIAzzq) people living along Parkway Boulevard knew that workers would be replacing the poles, but they weren’t expecting the new poles that tower twice as high over the old ones.

Duke Energy contractors told the residents that the poles carrying high-voltage power lines between substations would be much safer and more storm resistant. But Reidsville Mayor Jay Donecker, who lives on Parkway Boulevard, is concerned about what would happen if severe weather topples one of the new poles.

“If, God forbid, a tornado came through here, it could fall directly on the house,” Donecker said. If a powerful storm knocked down one of the wooden poles, he said it would have fallen well short of the house in the yard.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Jabon said the utility understands there can be frustrations during projects and works with property owners throughout the process so they know what to expect.

“Many factors go into the pole-siting process,” Jabon said. “We make every effort to limit the impact on homes, the community and the environment, while meeting the necessary requirements and engineering standards.”

She said Duke Energy tried to place the new poles as close as possible to the original location of the wooden poles.

One of the affected homeowners, Ken Norman, has petitioned the North Carolina Utilities Commission to intervene.

In a recent letter to the commission, Norman said repeated promises by Duke Energy’s representatives to repair lawn damage caused by the recent pole installations are meaningless.

Norman told the commission that many Parkway residents invested heavily in “restoring, remodeling and improving our 1950s’ homes and properties. … Duke Power by its actions has immediately devalued our property and forever blighted the area with the number, placement and aesthetics of these poles.”

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Information from: News & Record, https://www.news-record.com


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