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I-TEAM: Utility pole stability a concern for New Hartford homeowner

Utility pole stability was a concern for New Hartford homeowner.
Updated: Jan. 27, 2022 at 5:30 PM EST
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NEW HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - An I-Team investigation is getting on-the-spot results.

An impending nor’easter could bring snow and fierce winds. That’s why the I-Team looked at the stability of utility poles across the state.

A concerned homeowner in New Hartford reached out to Channel 3 about a potentially dangerous situation that some people may randomly face.

While all eyes are on an impending winter storm, homeowner Ira Kline has been thinking about the stability of a utility pole.

“The summer, big storms or the winter storms and the wind is blowing, if you look carefully, you can see it move,” Kline told the I-Team.

Five years ago, the pole on Steele Road was struck by a car.

“The house shook,” Kline said. “It hit that pole so hard.”

Immediately, it was outfitted with a strap.

“A nice splint,” Kline described. “It has those two pieces of wood, kind of like a splint that you would put on a broken bone.”

That’s how it would stay for five years, even though a new pole was put up months after the crash.

“I figured they would put up a new pole and take the old pole down,” Kline said.

Years passed, as well as storms.

“There’s that pole,” Kline said. “If you look carefully, [it’s] just moving a little bit, back and forth.”

A closer look showed that each pole had a metal plate which revealed the owner. In this case, it was Eversource. Kline called them.

“As you moved along, nobody seemed like they really cared, that this was not on the top of the list,” Kline said.

The I-Team reached out and what it learned goes for all utility poles in the state.

Different lines occupying space could be seen. They represent different companies.

In this case, there was Eversource, Spectrum and Frontier wires all on the pole.

They work from top to bottom.

Eversource said it will remove its lines and then it’ll be the responsibility of the next company to do the same, until the pole is cleared and then it can come down.

In this case, Eversource and spectrum did their job. They were waiting on Frontier.

“There has to be some way that all of these organizations can have some sort of meeting of the minds,” Kline said. “We’ve got a problem. We’ve got to take care of this.”

It just so happened that during the I-Team’s interview, Frontier rolled up to complete the job.

“Forty-eight hours after that email to you, here they are,” Kline said. “Finally, after five, six years.”

Even though Eversource tended to its part of the pole years ago, it told Channel 3 that these things can happen, so if property owners find themselves in a similar spot, here’s what they need to do: Look at that metal plate, determine who owns the pole, and go from there.

In Kline’s case, a few extra calls may need to be made to the other companies who share space on the pole. People can find that information by calling at the phone, cable or internet providers that service the area.

“It’s another example of where it takes somebody to be the squeaky wheel,” Kline said.