Customer to Oncor: “I Told You So”

Woman says company ignored pleas to trim downed tree


When a big tree snapped and crashed on the power lines behind Susie Fitzgerald's east Fort Worth home, she didn't get mad at Mother Nature. She blamed Oncor Electric Delivery.

"I'm very upset," she said as her lights flickered.

She said she has begged Oncro to trim the sprawling trees behind her home for five years.

Just last week, NBC DFW did a story on her complaints, which included letters to the Public Utility Commission and calls to City Hall.

"This is somebody's job, and somebody's not doing their job," she said on May 3.

Oncor sent a tree expert who told her the trees posed no threat to the lines.

"He was in this backyard last week," she said. "And look, he told me I didn't have a problem."

Exactly eight days later, Fitzgerald is saying, "I told you so."

In a thunderstorm that blew through on Wednesday, the tree snapped, damaging her fence and causing the electric line to bow.

"For this to have happened today, they have no excuse," she said. "They've ignored us."

Reached Wednesday, Oncor spokeswoman Jeamy Molina said that cutting the trees is not the company's job.

"It's really the homeowner's responsibility to make sure trees don't get too close to the lines," she said. "We told her at the time we didn't see the need to prune."

Molina also said Fitzgerald could have hired her own tree trimmers.

"That's not even in my yard," Fitzgerald said. "That's in the easement. We can't cut that tree."

Hours after the branches snapped, Oncor sent a tree-trimming crew, but Fitzgerald said the situation still was not resolved.

The crews cut the tree, but left the debris in her backyard for her to clean up.

"Until all this gets cleaned up and Oncor takes responsibility for it, I won't be happy," she said.

Fitzgerald said she also wants the company to pay for her damaged fence.

"She can file a claim," Molina said.

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