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Trees cut for Duke Energy maintenance left in people’s yards

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TRINITY, N.C. -- Homeowners in Trinity say a routine tree trimming by contractors hired by Duke Energy has turned their front lawns into “war zones.”

"It's pretty appalling," said Bill Wheatley, who lives on Stone Ridge Drive.

His front yard has been covered with tree limbs and debris since Tuesday when contractors cut down three trees on his front yard as part of routine maintenance around power lines.

"If you make a mess, please clean it up," Wheatley said.

He thought at least once the trees were cut, they'd be removed. He didn't know he'd have to do it himself.

"I'm going to be out maybe $200 just to get rid of this,” Wheatley said. “That's not right, not fair."

"They cut it and left," said Merrill Passmore, who lives nearby on Coltrane Street.

She says contractors hired by Duke Energy left her front yard in a similar state.

"If they would have just put it all together, it wouldn't look this bad," Passmore said.

She just put her home on the market this week and thinks the debris will be a turn off.

"It's a mess really,” she said.

Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks says the company has the right to trim trees that are too close or hanging on power lines.

"If those trees encroach in our right of way, we sometimes do have to trim them," Brooks said.

Its policy is to remove small limbs from landscaped areas.

Bigger pieces are cut into “manageable” sizes and become the homeowner's responsibility.

"We do our best to try to cut those into manageable lengths,” Brooks said. “It's not something where we can remove every bit of debris."

But they should, says Wheatley, who is 67 and says the job is too much for him to handle.

"These pieces are well over 100 pounds," Wheatley said.  "This is not really ‘manageable’ for me."


  • Rose

    C’mon Duke Energy! We really appreciate all the hard work ya’ll put in when that ice storm hit, but don’t start slacking now!

    • FaithC

      Trees cut on Tuesday and today is Wednesday wow people do not have any patience left anymore. Did it occur to you that they plan to return and clean it up? Use your common sense.

  • Steve

    They came and cut my in-laws’ trees 2 weeks ago and just came out this week after they had to call and complain

  • David

    Love the whine! We still have trees and limbs down from the ice storm that the state has yet to pick up and you are complaining about an action that happened yesterday???

  • James

    they make the mess, they should clean it up, that would be like me coming on your property and dumping all my trash and you having to pay or clean it up,

  • margaret

    I begged for 9 months from Feb. to Sept. to have a leaning pine tree trimmed off the right of way over a power line and they finally came out.So it’s their policy to clean up the twigs and such? hahahaha, that’s funny. One guy cut the tree down while the other 2 smoked and watched him, and they left EVERY SINGLE limb, branch, twig they cut! and the bad part, THE WOOD CHIPPER WAS ON THE BACK OF THE TRUCK. They were too lazy to drag the smaller stuff 15 feet to the chipper. Guess it would have cut short their smoking break. In fact, anyone who wants to see the pile, it’s still in my yard because I’m not able to remove them myself. Duke Power your contracted tree trimmers are taking you for a ride! Wake up.

  • Tim Hamberstan

    Throw the debris in a dump truck and carry it to Duke Energys building and dump it in their parking lot!!!

  • matthew gordon

    I work for the contracted company in a different part of the triad…we do come back and clean up what is cut..the bucket trucks just get ahead of the chip trucks sometimes…

  • Mimi Sparks

    Hmm maybe some people who use wood stoves or could use the wood for camping would cut it and haul it away, we have a free site around to post things such as this and maybe it would benefit both parties, just a thought!

  • DD

    They cut on our street and all our power is underground ! Duke should be held responsible by the State of NC Utility Commission.

  • Rick Abrams

    Left my front yard a mess for a week, had to call and complain, thinking about buying solar panels lol

  • t

    Duke Energy is THE WORST!!! They are going to hide behind “it’s our policy” to screw its customers over and over.

  • Z

    Here’s an idea, don’t plant your trees under or around the power lines, when those trees fall in an ice storm or wind storm you are the one to blame for the outage just ask the people in Greensboro who raised such a big fuss about cutting trees they had a heck of a lot more outages than the people in Winston .

  • Bonnie Hill

    This is not for duke energy, but the city of Thomasville, who put water lines in the fairgrove area they finally finished after all summer and came back took up barrier fences sowed grass and fixed everyones yard back to normal , My house was the last one to be finished and its still not been done .I have rocks , roots , no grass and have made several calls about this and was promised a load of dirt which was loaded and carried from my back yard. I’m 74 yrs old and do not have the money to pay someone to do this, so when tax time comes maybe they will knock enough off my bill to pay someone to do this work .

  • missylong11202

    They didn’t trim the trees in the area they butchered them. I personally think they may have made a bigger mess in the process of avoiding one in the future. If you cut every limb off one side of a tree and top it out when we have high winds that tree is going to come down and due to the way Duke Energy had it cut, it may just come down on someone’s home.

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