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Backyard hazard, who's responsible?

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jun 14, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A piece of rope is the only thing that’s holding an old telephone pole on Niagara Street from falling over.

A concerned homeowner reached out to 7 Eyewitness News for help, after she says Spectrum Cable wasn’t taking her complaint seriously.

During the damaging wind storm in March of this year, Janna Willoughby-Lohr says a telephone pole on her property fell down. She says National Grid came to install a new pole, but did not transfer the Verizon and Spectrum lines to the new pole, as the company can’t touch another companies property.

“I’m worried that it’s going to fall over,” she said.

Willoughby-Lohr says the pole is owned by Verizon, who has been happy to transfer its lines and tear down the pole, but Verizon, too can’t touch the Spectrum line. She says she’s called Spectrum numerous times for the line to be moved, only to be met with a waiting game. Janna says no one seemed to take her complaint seriously, or know which department was responsible for the line transfer.

“It’s very windy today,” she said, as we stood outside her home. “It’s a safety issue.”

She says she’s worried about kids and neighbors playing in the yard and having something go wrong with the pole.

“I just don’t understand why this is a big deal for them to come and fix it.”

7 Eyewitness News sent an e-mail Friday afternoon to Spectrum to get answers. A media representative responded back a short while later saying she “was looking into the issue.”

By 4:20 p.m. we got an e-mail back from the media rep saying:

“Our network was relocated as of 4/25/19.
We sent someone from our field construction team to physically confirm this afternoon; the customer’s husband approached him while reviewing the pole and we explained, the only remaining wires are from the TelCo’s.
Hope this helps clear things up.”

Janna says no one notified her that Spectrum had moved the lines, and had she known, Verizon could have come take care of the pole a long time ago.

Willoughby-Lohr says she now plans to have Verizon come immediately remove the old, broken pole.