After a month of worry, Duke Energy fixes broken utility pole near school

CINCINNATI -- The sight of a sagging, splintered electric pole by the entrance to Houston Elementary School left Julia Hollingsworth feeling powerless for more than a month. 

The damage, which left what had once been a single utility pole looking more like a criss-crossed pair of chopsticks, was the result of a mid-April crash, she said Monday. She'd driven Compton Road every day since without spotting any sign it was being or would be repaired.

"I'm worried the whole thing is going to come down across the street," she said. "It'll block traffic both ways and into the driveway and across the road, and it might land on somebody."

Even barring that worst-case scenario, the slumping pole was an eyesore. She contacted WCPO with hopes of drawing attention to the situation.

Lo, and behold -- while we spoke with Hollingsworth, a Duke Energy worker arrived to assess the damage. Company spokeswoman Sally Thelen said the the delay had been an issue of coordination with other companies.

"We just need to work in conjunction with other joint utilities that also are on our poles," she said. "It's been a little bit of a lengthier process."

Other parties interested the pummeled pole included Cincinnati Bell, where representatives confirmed they were working with Duke Energy. The power company handled the heavy lifting and removed the mess Monday night.

Thelen said the pole had been turned off since the crash, meaning no one was ever in any danger of being electrocuted.

Hollingsworth was just happy to see it gone.

"Apparently, your calls have helped," she said.

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