Residents concerned with trees growing on power lines

Residents concerned with trees growing on power lines

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Update at 1:09 a.m. Saturday: Since the publication of this story, Entergy told WAFB that a crew was sent to clean tree limbs from the powerlines.

Santa Rosa Heights is a quiet community where almost all of the neighbors know each other, but there's one thing they have in common that they hope will change.

"We're just trying to get Entergy to come out and trim these trees off the lines so we don't have to suffer with the lights going out during the hottest part of  the day," said Louis Smith.

Smith has lived in this neighborhood for two years. He says he has been trying to get Entergy to clean up the power lines since February, but he's gotten nowhere. He says it's so bad, the trees have even caught fire. "One of their employees seen it actually flaming and said, 'We'll send somebody,' and it has yet to be done," said Smith.

Our 9News Alert Team went to check things out and saw branches that had actually been burned. The issue is affecting multiple houses in the neighborhood. We knocked on a door a few houses down from Smith's home to hear a grandmother's experience.

"The electricity jumps off sometimes three or four times a month and maybe two or three times sometimes during the day," said Roxann Ardoyn.

Another resident sent us text messages from Entergy. There was one week in May where residents experienced outages three days in a row, and the text shows the cause was from the trees. So what exactly is Entergy's policy on cutting tree limbs? Their website says that part of their commitment is to trim or remove trees that cause outages or safety hazards. However, for residents like Ardoin, who is a diabetic and has to keep her insulin refrigerated, the process is not moving fast enough.

"I lost medication once. It was out for longer than 30 to 45 minutes," she said.

Ardoin says all she and her neighbors can do now is wait.

"All we can do is just muster out the heat, just muster out the heat and wait. And it's miserable," she said.

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