Bill Capo / Action Reporter

NEW ORLEANS -- It is the story of two telephone poles. Why are they standing next to one another? Take a look at the base of this one. It is so rotted you can see the pole swaying in even a light breeze. So little is left the neighbors get scared when the wind blows, waiting for it to snap.

'A disaster, a huge disaster,' said Gretchen Byard. 'It could definitely cause property damage, possibly injuries.'

'People come back here all the time. They're in their automobiles, walking their pets. It's a safety issue,' added her husband, Chad Byard.

But what no one can figure out is why the base of the pole is rotting away like this.

'I measured it. I think it is about 10 and a half, 11 inches in circumference,' said Gretchen Byard. 'I put a soup can down there, and they're basically the same size. It looks like a beaver came and chewed it away. ... Every time the wind blows I get worried.'

AT&T owns the pole, and put in the new one, transferring the phone cables. But there's a streetlight at the top of the old pole, and the neighbors have been begging the city to transfer it, so the hazardous pole can be removed.

'It is pretty frustrating,' said Chad Byard. 'It has been over three years. The pole has just slowly deteriorated, and we've called everyone who has an interest in the pole, and it just goes around in a circle.'

There's a reason the neighbors put the caution tape here. So I'm contacting the mayor's office, asking them to get that streetlight moved to the new pole as soon as possible, so the old pole can be taken away before it breaks.

Because that's what everybody here is afraid of.

'I find it hard to believe that anybody would look at it and not say, 'Oh my gosh, I think we need to do something about that,' said Gretchen Byard.

Then came the good news that late Friday, about 48 hours after WWL-TV contacted the city, crews were on the scene removing the damaged pole.


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