MT. CARMEL, TN (WJHL)- A Mt. Carmel veteran is thanking News Channel 11 for getting him answers and help after Appalachian Power crews left debris on his property after trimming trees.
Gary Slogar became concerned after crews came out to his Mt. Carmel home last week after a storm, chopped down several trees in his backyard that were near power lines, and left them in a pile on his property.
“Those trees created a nice natural privacy barrier. Well they’ve wiped that out back there now,” Slogar said. The 64 year-old disabled veteran was concerned because he cannot clean up the debris himself. “I’m just not able to do work like that anymore. I wish I could.”
He reached out to AEP repeatedly, via phone and email. He received an emailed response from the customer service department, which said, in part, “We regret any inconveniences. Our main concern is to supply uninterrupted service if at all possible. We do not clean up trimming done to restore power.”
Then he reached out to News Channel 11, who started working to get him answers. News Channel 11 reached out to Teresa Hamilton Hall with AEP corporate communications, who said, “That information would be accurate because this was debris resulting from a storm,” Hamilton Hall said. “However, in this situation it’s entirely different because our plan had always been to go back out there and do more tree trimming.”
She said when the trimming was done, the crews were doing storm restoration and the main objective was to restore power to about 40 customers in the area. Hamilton Hall said trees are the number one source of power outages and crews trim them as a safety precaution. She also siad AEP tries to talk with homeowners before any work is completed on their property, but it is not always possible.
However, when crews were doing repair work in Slogar’s neighborhood Hamilton Hall said they realized more trees needed to be trimmed and they made arrangements to come back. That is when they planned to clear away the debris on Slogar’s property.
Slogar told News Channel 11 on Monday night that a crew stopped by his house and had plans to start the clean-up process on Tuesday. They will also be planting new trees in place of the ones they cut down.
If you have any concerns about debris removal AEP suggests that you contact them until you get an answer. To find contact information visit the AEP website.