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Power problems: Who pays for power line repairs near your house?

Who pays for power line repairs near your house? (WKRC)

FLORENCE, Ky. (WKRC) - Who is responsible for repairs if there are problems with the power lines in front of your house?

Apparently, the answer largely depends on where you live.

When power went out in part of Susan Kinman's Florence, Kentucky home, she contacted an electrician.

The electrician couldn't find a problem with her home's wiring. He told her the problem was likely with the underground cable in front of her neighbor's home.

So, she also called Duke Energy and next door neighbor Susan Donovan.

“They came out and checked everything and they said this being underground wiring is your liability,” said Donovan.

Donovan permitted electricians to dig up her lawn and driveway to put in a new electric line at a cost to Kinman of more than $2,000.

“The digger truck was patting down the dirt on Susan’s side so I assumed they'd do all my yard too but they didn't do that,” said Donovan.

In addition, Kinmen is still upset about having to pay all that money to fix the problem, so she contacted Local 12’s Howard Ain and he contacted Duke Energy.

Duke Energy Spokeswoman Sally Thelen said that Howard’s call prompted Duke to reevaluate the situation and fix the problem.

“Once he had a number of key players involved that were looking at this unique situation we realized that, yes, we could be handling this in a better way. Certainly that's what we're doing,” said Thelen.

Donovan says she hopes duke will now clean up all of this so that the lawn can be put back in proper shape.

“I'd like them to fix my yard back the way it was and to just pour the concrete into the area that was dug up,” said Donovan.

Duke says Donovan and Kinman should hire a landscaper to make the repairs and the company will pay for everything, including the cost to put down the new electrical line.

Generally, in Kentucky, it's a good idea to buy insurance to pay for repairs if you have underground electrical lines to your home.

In Ohio, you do not need insurance because your power company must pay for all underground line repairs.

If you live in Indiana, the power company also pays for these repairs.

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