ENGLEWOOD, Fla. (WFLA) — As Florida braces for another storm, a mobile home park in Englewood is still trying to secure homes from damage, including electric poles on homes from Hurricane Ian.
When the park was left with a mess more than a month after the storm, residents called Better Call Behnken for help, saying they were stuck between three utility companies and getting nowhere.
“We’re hoping that by having you here, you can give us … another resource for getting us the job done. That’s all we want. It’s so frustrating,” said homeowner Steve Henley.
“I’ll cut it up with my chainsaw and I’ll haul it away,” he continued. “Just get it off my house, please. That’s all I’m asking. It’s just so frustrating. You can’t get the people out here. The right-hand does not know what the left hand is doing. There’s no coordination.”
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When Ian hit, Henley was left with a transformer on his home and said he couldn’t start repairs and move home because the pole was still on his home.
Why? Florida Power and Light, he said, told residents other utility companies must remove their cables before the pole could be removed.
FPL sent Better Call Behnken this statement:
After using temporary measures to restore service to the Deer Creek Mobile Home Park following Hurricane Ian, FPL rebuilt infrastructure serving the community, including installing new poles and stringing new wire. These permanent repairs were completed on Oct. 28. In most cases, we also safely removed damaged equipment from the neighborhood, including power poles. We understand the customer’s concerns about damaged power poles that remain in her neighborhood. We’ve met with the customer on-site to explain that, unfortunately, the downed poles can’t be removed because in-service equipment from cable companies is still attached to the poles. FPL does not own that equipment and we cannot remove it. We have encouraged the customer to communicate with these cable companies to have their equipment moved to the new poles. FPL has also attempted to reach the companies to accelerate their response. Once the other utilities have removed their equipment, we can safely remove the remaining damaged power poles.
Hours after investigator Shannon Behnken reached out to all three utility companies, Comcast, Frontier and FPL, Comcast workers showed up and removed their lines. Days later, Frontier workers removed their lines and one of the poles from a home.
Residents say the only thing left to do is wait for FPL to cart away the old poles.
“We’re not done,” said park owner Kim Reese. “But things are so much better and people can start to clean up and move back now.”