Consumer Watchdog gets action after neighbors raise concerns about leaning and broken utility poles

FPL expediting wire transfers to new poles

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Splintered poles and low hanging wires concern John Lennon and his neighbors in the Sun Valley Neighborhood of Boynton Beach.

Lennon said the wires look terrible.

The tangled web of wires belong to three utilities including Florida Power & Light, Comcast, and AT&T and create a chain reaction of problems when there's an issue like a recent auto accident.

"The pole was hit down here, but it snapped up here because there was way too much weight in the high areas," explained Lennon.

Lennon said he's concerned with what might happen if a hurricane hits.

"With one automobile taking out one pole we were without power for eight hours on all media and power for two hours," Lennon explained.

Service was restored, but bundled and frayed wires remain.

"It's an eyesore for our neighborhood," explained Lennon.

In Delray Beach, low hanging wires are causing problems for delivery trucks.

"Every now and then one blows through here that doesn't realize that line is hanging too low and just snags it," explained Delray Florist owner Tom Strongosky.

It disconnected the flower company's phone lines and those for others in the strip mall.

"Without a phone line we have no access to our internet website. We can't receive orders and we can't process any credit cards either," explained Strongosky.

Service is back on but the pole that snapped and cracked is still leaning.

Strongosky said he called the Consumer Watchdog because he's getting the runaround.

After our calls, AT&T and FPL came out to look at the problem. The broken pole was removed, and FPL fixed the leaning pole after AT&T fixed the slack in its lines. That reduced the stress on the FPL pole.

In Boynton Beach, there's progress too.

"We know customers are concerned about the situation and so are we," explained Bill Orlove of FPL.

One utility pole was removed, and there are plans to move the second pole soon.

"When we put in a new pole and transfer the lines to the new pole we need to wait for the other utilities to put their equipment onto our pole and then we can remove the old pole," explained Orlove.

FPL is working to speed up the process.

"We are trying to expedite with our partner utilities to make this go smoother than it has in the past," explained Orlove. "We recently spoke to Comcast and entered into an agreement with them that we will be able to transfer some of their lines onto our poles."

FPL is working to make the transfer of wires to new poles smoother, because it's in the middle of a big project to replace 3,000 old poles with stronger, more hurricane resistant poles. The utility owns 117,000 poles in Palm Beach County and said less than 4 percent of them are double poles.

The utility points out that other utilities also use double poles.

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