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Homeowner pays thousands in damages after neighbor's invasive plants hit power lines: 'Utility won't help'

"It's not even his yard!"

"It’s not even his yard!"

Photo Credit: YouTube

An Orlando family is out thousands of dollars after a neighbor's bamboo plant grew over their power line.

A Redditor reposted an investigative report from WKMG News 6 Orlando that mapped out one homeowner's frustrations.

"Utility won't help," the caption stated.

News 6 Investigator Louis Bolden visited the home of Joe Thompson, who woke up to find his recently purchased dishwasher smoking, along with a fried pool-pump operator and LED light — a total of about $2,500 in losses.

Believing the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) should pay for the damage, Thompson filed a claim for reimbursement but was denied.

The letter to Thompson from the Manager of Insurance and Claims states: "OUC does not assume liability for damage caused by private vegetation of any type."

The problem is that the power pole, as well as the vegetation causing the issue, are in the neighbor's yard. 

Bolden reported a spokesperson from OUC said the customers always have the option to call in or email to request trimmings.

Thompson was shocked that he would be held responsible for repairing anything that wasn't on his property, even more so since residents are discouraged from trimming and/or pruning around power lines for obvious safety concerns.

"I pay my power bill every month. It's OUC's responsibility to get the power to me," Thompson argued.

While natural yards are finally making a comeback, to the relief of our planet, knowing what not to grow is crucial to rewilding and keeping the ecosystem in balance.

Bamboo is considered an invasive species in the United States due to its territorial nature. They grow rapidly in all directions — spreading wide with deep roots and heights of up to 30 feet.

It's unfortunate that bamboo gets such a bad rep, because it's not entirely evil. In fact, according to the Natural Library of Medicine, bamboo improves soil and plays a vital role in protecting our planet from pollution when grown correctly.

Thompson's predicament was as baffling as OUC's response. 

"It's not even his yard!" exclaimed Matt Austin, Channel 6 newscaster. "I am angry for this man."

Fellow newscaster Ginger Gadsden agreed, saying: "He can't just go onto his neighbor's yard and start trimming."

A YouTube comment read: "He can sue the neighbor who planted the bamboo under the power lines and didn't maintain them."

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