Who is responsible for cleanup after tree branches, limbs overtake South Norfolk home’s yard, sidewalk?

Who is responsible for cleanup after tree branches, limbs overtake South Norfolk home’s yard, sidewalk?
Posted at 2:56 PM, Sep 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-16 19:27:57-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Neighbors on Rodgers Street couldn't walk down the sidewalk. A large pile of tree branches and limbs had taken over a portion of the walkway in front of Melissa Ochat's home, and she's ready to see it go.

"This is atrocious. It's disrespectful to the trees and to my yard and my neighbor's yard," Ochat explained to News 3. "I’m irritated and I’m angry. I’m out here paying my bills on time and doing what I need to do to keep my yard kept up, and they just come and destroy it with no disregard."

Ochat says she and her neighbors frequently lose power. Worried that a tree in her front yard could be responsible, she called Dominion Power.

A few days later, a crew came out and chopped off the top of the trees. While the tree no longer touches the power lines, the tree tops and branches that were taken down are now all over her sidewalk and front yard.

Related: 95-year-old Elizabeth City woman counting her blessings after Dorian uproots tree near her home

"They finished and they left and they didn’t say anything. They didn’t give me any instruction, like call the city or say if they were going to come back out," explained Ochat.

The large pile was there for more than a week. Ochat says she called Dominion to find out when they would come clean up the debris but never got a straight answer.

News 3 reached out to Dominion Power to find out if they are responsible for the cleanup or if the City of Chesapeake is.

A spokesperson explained that typically, the homeowner is responsible for cleanup but this case is an exception. This debris is considered one of Dominion's maintenance program so they are responsible for cleaning it up. There was a delay because of the high volume of calls and work by Hurricane Dorian. A person from Dominion has since come out and removed the debris pile.

If you have a tree issue you can call Dominion Power at 1-866-366-4357.

The City of Chesapeake says they can also help pick up debris outside of people's homes, but right now they are running behind schedule due to Hurricane Dorian cleanup.