Property owners on hook to fix damaged power equipment caused by garbage truck
ALSEN - There's a blame game involving utility companies and a garbage company after the garbage truck pulled down some wires and took out power to several homes. So far, the responsibility to make repairs has fallen on the property owners, who tell 2 On Your Side that it's not right.
J.W. Long lives on Old Rafe Meyer Road in Alsen. He says he was sitting in his front yard on Wednesday when a garbage truck drove by taking a low-hanging line along for the ride.
"I thought I saw Moses, all I know," Long said.
Three homes lost power because of the incident. Long lives in one of those homes.
"Next thing you know, this garbage truck - the boom was a bit high - come through the line and kept, just kept going," Long said.
Cables sit at the curb in front of Long's house and another wire dangles by a thread from the top of the pole near his neighbor's driveway.
Entergy says when the truck came through, it pulled down a low-hanging line and damaged Entergy's equipment in the process. Entergy says the line that was pulled down was a utility line belonging to a phone or cable company. Entergy will restore power to the affected customers once they make their own repairs - that involves calling an electrician at the property owner's expense.
The repairs aren't cheap. An electrician was making repairs at Long's house Monday morning and had to bring the equipment up to code. It'll cost almost $3,000 for the repairs. Lois Follins lives next door to Long and her repairs will be about $2,300 - an unexpected expense she can't afford.
"I'm not able to get it repaired," Follins said.
Since Wednesday, Follins lost all of the contents in her fridge and deep freezer. She's on a fixed income and doesn't have the money to make the necessary repairs to restore power.
Neither Follins nor Long think they should have to pay to repair the damage.
"They should pay, I think Republic should pay because they the one that pulled the line down," Long said.
Republic Services says its trucks are of legal height and the boom can't be extended when driving. Witnesses say otherwise.
"If she had that boom buckled down it wouldn't have happened," Long said.
The neighbors continue to wait for someone to take responsibility. Republic Services says it filed claims with its insurance company and adjusters will be contacting the property owners with a decision.
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