Tree on live power line causes concern for St. Pete neighborhood

8 on Your Side contacted Duke, who promptly addressed the hazard

Larry Davis speaks with News Channel 8.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — After several days without power, Larry and Linda Davis were relieved when the lights came back on. Then, they saw something that made them cringe.

When Hurricane Irma knocked out the power to their neighborhood, it also knocked down a large palm tree. The palm tree didn’t fall to the ground, but was resting on power lines that are now live.

Larry Davis put signs up and draped pink ribbon around the area, hoping to ward off the curious, especially children. “You can’t really appreciate that until you get up close and you can see these wires are stretched like bow strings,” said Davis, pointing to the taught power lines. “Very tight.”

Davis and others in the area called Duke Power to report the issue, but they claim they waited for days, and weren’t happy with the lack of action. “I understand that there are thousands of people without power and that is a real problem, but they are safe,” said Davis. “This tree on a live wire was an eminent risk.”

Davis contacted 8 On Your Side, and within hours a crew was on scene inspecting the line on 8th Street South in St. Petersburg.

A supervisor deemed the tree was a hazard that needed to be removed. The problem was addressed and crews left before sundown.

Ana Gibbs, a Duke Energy spokeswoman, has asked for customers to be patient. In addition to dealing with storm related issues, Gibbs said employees are still responding to emergency calls they receive on a daily basis.

“Sometimes we may be able to respond almost immediately to a phone call regarding a downed power line,” said Gibbs. “But depending on what other calls are coming in and what assistance is needed throughout your community, we may be slightly delayed.”

Gibbs adds that it’s important for customers to inform them when they discover an issue with a power line. Safety is priority one. “Please avoid the power line. Do not touch it. Do not go near it,” Gibbs said. “And just let us know so we can address it.”

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