Baytown neighborhood says tree cutting company hired by CenterPoint left them to clean up the mess

Thursday, February 29, 2024
Baytown neighborhood shares frustration from tree cutting aftermath
Some Baytown residents shared their frustration after they said CenterPoint left them to clean up the mess of trees cut down.

BAYTOWN, Texas (KTRK) -- A neighborhood in Baytown is frustrated after a company contracted by CenterPoint Energy was hired to cut down trees close to power lines and then left piles of debris for the homeowners to clean up.

Lowell Ernst, who lives in Pinehurst, shared the notice he and his wife received from Lewis Tree Service, stating the company was contracted by CenterPoint to "trim trees away from power lines because when they grow too close, they can interrupt electric service."

Ernst, who is 70 years old and has health issues, did not know that he would be left to move the heavy piles of wood and tree trunks.

"They had trucks down out front and said they were only contracted to take the tree out," Ernst said. "It's nothing but a big pile of wood and logs that are two and a half feet thick."

When ABC13 reached out to CenterPoint, a spokesperson said its policy is that when dead trees pose a threat to power lines, it's up to the homeowner to clean up. A spokesperson said homeowners have to sign a work permit which states this. According to Ernst, this was never explained to him and his neighbors, who signed the paperwork.

"My neighbor beside me, they cut her tree tree," he said. "She is a single mom. She can't afford it. We are talking $500 to have someone haul it off or the curb to have the city take it."

A spokesperson for CenterPoint told ABC13 that, in this case, they will remove the debris for Ernst and his wife after our reporting.

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