Homeowner calls Help Me Hank with sagging power line problem

Homeowner nervous about power line; Help Me Hank to the rescue

By Tony Statz - Producer

REDFORD, Mich. - Most of us don't know much about power lines and electricity, but we do know they can be dangerous. That's why Sharon Grier-Byrd, of Redford, was so nervous when a storm disconnected a power line from her home and left it sagging into her backyard.

"It made me really nervous because I don't know a lot about electricity, but I know it's dangerous," she told Help Me Hank.

The wire was hanging less than 6 feet from the ground since a storm on Saturday, Aug. 24. Grier-Byrd called DTE daily and was told the wire would be fixed, but four days later she still hadn't seen any results.

She was worried about the potential for a fire or the possibility a neighborhood child might be tempted to make a dangerous mistake.

"That looks like a nice little playscape, you know, and they want to grab it and swing," she worried. "Freak accidents happen when we least expect them, and I just don't want any tragedies on my property," said Grier-Byrd.

DTE responds to Help Me Hank

Help Me Hank contacted DTE on the homeowner's behalf. DTE was unavailable for on-camera interview but told Help Me Hank that low-hanging wires are a lower priority than fixing power outages and wires that are actually on the ground. (see DTE's entire statement below)

Grier-Byrd understands those priorities, but still she was frustrated.

"Why tell me within 24 hours if they can't keep that promise?" she asked.

DTE says it's not clear what caused the delay in this case. Once Help Me Hank contacted the company, the wire was fixed within hours.

"I came home from work, and it was fixed," said Grier-Byrd. "We have resources like Help Me Hank, and I'm so grateful and appreciative for Help Me Hank."

If you have a consumer issue you'd like Help Me Hank to investigate, call 313-298-WDIV (9348) or send an email to helpmehank@clickondetroit.com.

You can also reach out via Twitter and Facebook, but it's usually more effective to share a quick summary of your issue and your contact information by phone or email.

DTE Statement:

The customer reported to us that the service line to her home was hanging low, but that she still had power. That indicates that the service line was still connected at the pole and to the home's wiring. It's not immediately clear what caused the delay in responding to her call, but jobs like the low hanging service line are prioritized below outages and reports of wire on the ground.  While every customer service call is important to us, we must place a higher priority on high voltage hazards and customers who are without power."

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