Tree removed from power lines in Des Plaines after I-Team calls

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An almost 7-foot-long tree branch was causing powerlines to sag. (WLS)

ABC7 I-Team gets results
An almost 7-foot-long tree branch was causing power lines to sag. The problem can take several days to fix if ComEd determines it's not an "immediate safety issue."

Kim Nowak of Des Plaines reached out to the ABC7 I-Team for help. She shared a video.

"I have this giant tree branch that is straddling both my wires," Nowak said, "and, as you can see, it is bowing and the wires are moving do to the wind and I have been calling for four days and nothing has been taken care of. Two crews have been sent out, both of which did nothing."

Last week, she posted the photo on I-Team reporter Jason Knowles' Facebook page.

"I told ComEd, I said, 'My lights are flickering,' to which they said, 'If the power lines come down - then call,'" Nowak said.

Nowak and her family believed it was a dangerous situation because the power lines were sagging. But ComEd said the situation was not an "immediate safety issue."

"Somebody could be walking their dog and the power lines could come down," Nowak said.

Nowak said after two ComEd crew visits and several calls she still didn't have a direct answer for a removal date. The ABC7 I-Team called ComEd Friday afternoon. A spokesperson said the utility would look at it and then said the branch would be removed Monday.

Early Monday morning, crews removed the tree.

"It was a week later but the branch is finally gone and my home and my neighbors are safe. So thank you very much for all of the work you did," Nowak said.

ComEd said the Monday morning removal was already scheduled. Officials declined an on-camera interview. The utility released a statement: The next day a ComEd representative was dispatched to conduct an inspection and determined the branch did not present an immediate safety issue and was not disrupting power delivery, but should be removed. A work order was submitted to ComEd's vegetation management division and the customer was informed that a ComEd vegetation crew would visit their home on Monday morning to remove the branch.

ComEd said customers are encouraged to call about similar issues so crews can access situations to find solutions "as quickly and efficiently as possible."
"For a company that charges monthly- and they are the only company there- they should be providing services. They should come take the branch down," Nowak said.

ComEd said customers should always call 1-800-EDISON1 when there is an object obstructing power lines and never try to remove something yourself. Power lines should always be considered live- even if they are down and there are no sparks.

WHAT TO DO IF A POWER LINE IS OBSTRUCTED

(ComED) If a customer has a concern about a tree or branch interfering with overhead power lines they can contact our customer service center at 1-800-EDISON1 to report the issue. A ComEd crew will come out to assess the situation and prescribe the appropriate solution. Depending on the severity of the issue, any required work to address the situation can take as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Below are some tips informing our customers how to be safe around power lines:

-In order to ensure the safety of our customers and their contractors, we ask customers to call us at 1-800-EDISON1 before they do any trimming around service lines (the wire that runs from the pole to the meter). ComEd will either drop or de-energize the service wire, and will re-connect it once trimming is complete. There is no charge for this service.

-Never touch a downed power line, or anything it is in contact with - even if there are no sparks.

-If a downed wire is on your vehicle, stay in your vehicle and wait for help.

-Never approach a downed power line.

-Always assume a power line is energized and extremely dangerous.

-If you encounter a downed power line, stay at least 35 feet away and immediately call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661) or access our website at ComEd.com and report the location. Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237).

Related Topics:
I-TeamconsumerDes Plaines
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