Georgia Power customer has issues with tree trimming practices

On Your Side

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A Savannah woman is complaining to us about how Georgia Power and some of its contractors operate, saying they entered her yard last week without permission.

Charlene Moody-Durant showed me a secured gate in her front yard. She says on Tuesday morning her neighbor called her at work and indicated that crews believed to be from a Georgia Power contractor had gone into Moody-Durant’s back yard.

“They had no business opening that fence and going back here without permission,” she told me.

She accepts the company needs to clear tree limbs from power lines but says in her case, the result was damage left on her property. A Georgia power official sent a statement disagreeing with that.

However, Moody-Durant showed us a tree limb leaning onto her shed and said it wasn’t like that when she left for work Tuesday morning She also said her aging fence didn’t fare well either and part of it is falling.

“Someone has got to take the tree off of there and fix my fence,” she said and indicated she works two jobs already and doesn’t have the funds right now.

Moody-Durant said last week she called Georgia Power about the debris left in the yard and “they did clean that but my problem is he looked at the fence and he looked at the tree and d that’s not his problem.”

Georgia Power said this was regular maintenance work and its tree-trimming did not cause any permanent damage to Moody-Durant’s property.

They sent this statement:

“We appreciate our customers’ concerns and try to explain our actions, as best we can while meeting our obligation to provide safe and reliable power. Ensuring that our rights of way around distribution lines are clear is an essential part of our ongoing efforts to prevent power outages. When possible, we notify our customers in advance that crews are working in the area but our teams are allowed to access the rights-of-way for tree clearance work.

Once Georgia Power was made aware of this customer’s concerns earlier this month, we immediately sent our forestry team to clean up debris and examine the tree in question. We have determined through inspection that Georgia Power’s trimming did not cause the tree to lean onto the roof or the customer’s fence to bend. Our professional arborists have determined that the long-term growth of the tree appears to have caused any damage to the customer’s property.”

While the utility pointed out it has the right to access “rights-of-way”, Moody-Durant said access to her home had taken place through the front gate which was secured.

She also said she has filed a claim with the company and is seeking compensation for what she insists is damage to the shed and fence. “I can’t afford that,” she said.

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