Greensboro, NC -- Duke Energy is now taking full responsibility of cleaning up a customer's yard after three weeks of saying the mess contractors created on Ken Cressman's property was not the company's problem.
The power company changed its tune Thursday after WFMY News 2 approached representatives. The incident began three weeks ago.
Cressman thought he was doing the neighborly thing when he alerted Duke Energy that a tree had fallen onto a power line in his elderly neighbor's yard.
Contractors for the power company went to clear the line but left the debris in Cressman's yard.
That turned into weeks of frustrations for the 60-year-old.
"They basically don't care," Cressman explained to WFMY News 2. "They told me flat out that they weren't going to do anything about it. It wasn't their problem."
While working to clear the power line from Cressman's neighbor's yard, the Duke Energy contractors threw huge limbs and debris over the fence into his yard; they also trampled his fence.
Cressman says he thought the workers would at least cut the large pieces down so the clean up would be easier on him.
"This is not manageable," he said looking at the overwhelming damage. "I have branches here that are 15-20 feet long. I have logs back there that are 12-15 inches in diameter. It's just more than I'm equipped to handle."
Cressman had to clear a path just to let his dogs run around and get to his shed.
"To get to the other one we have to go all the way around the outside of the yard," he said.
The 60-year-old says his only mistake was calling Duke Energy about the tree on the power line; and then being a good neighbor by allowing contractors to pass through his yard to clear it.
"I understand that they have a job to do and they are trying to restore power, and all that. But, they've had plenty of time to make it right," Cressman said.
The pole for the power line was not in his yard and neither was the tree that fell.
But for three weeks Duke Energy and their contractor refused to right the wrong.
"Every time I come home and I see the backyard and it just upsets me all over again," he said.
But after WFMY News 2 started reporting on the incident and called Duke Energy, managers sent the contractors back to finish the job.
"Once y'all brought it to our attention we had a chance to look at it. It was very clear what we needed to do," said Davis Montgomery, Duke Energy's Site Manager.
Montgomery says his company now takes full responsibility of the situation.
"We recognized what the right thing to do was and we're going to go out and get that taken care of," he said.
As far as why it took the company so long to honor Cressman's request, Montgomery says, "unfortunately he did not get through to somebody who recognized the situation."