NOTE: This website and most pictures shown existed
many years before Hurricane Wilma in 2005.  I personally
notified the Florida Public Service Commission and the Town Of Davie
in 2002 regarding the public safety issues these rotted power poles (structures)
presented. The picture of my hand inside a rotted pole was taken in 2002.

FPL's 2007 quarterly profits continue to rise by 72% click here

Power Companies in the United States Generate about 4 Trillion Kilowatts per year ( 4,000,000,000,000,000 Watts )

FPL TODAY: click here


- and -

Problems & RF Caused by Utility Companies can be dangerous to you, and damage your equipment and/or interfere with HDTV and other communications equipment.  The Town of Davie, Florida, refused to address the safety issue these rotted poles (structures) presented to the safety of residents and visitors to the Town.

These dangerous conditions and safety hazards to the public are allowed to continue in the The Town Of Davie, Florida, by Code Compliance Official, Daniel Stallone (954-797-1000).   Utility poles are STRUCTURES, and poles on right-of-ways fall within local jurisdictions, while power rates and quality issues fall under the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission.

FPL gave over $14,000,000.00 of their customer's money to "persuade" Washington D.C. politicians to do what FPL wanted.  click here   Then they were granted an 18% rate hike.   ( This does not include money spent in Florida for the same purpose. ) 

Hurricane Damage, Lightning and Bonding Issues, Rotted and Shallow Buried Poles Plus EMI, TVI, and RFI from Power Grids, Comcast Cable, and Telephone Utilities:

THIS ROTTED, HOLLOW, POWER POLE WITH STREET-LIGHT ATTACHED, WAS PHOTOGRAPHED IN (DAVIE) FLORIDA, THE HURRICANE STATE. This picture. taken in 2002, resulted in a visit by Florida PSC inspector Jim Colby.


Part 1


Power Quality Issues


The above images were captured from an unloaded branch on a consumer drop by a calibrated Dranetz 658 Power Quality Analyzer:

Top Left: Distorted waveform with ~+100 volt transient to help blow out your electronic appliances
Top Right: Waveform with ~+60 volt and -256 volt negative going spikes (transients)
2nd Row, Left: Waveform with transients at crossover
2nd Row, Right: Florida Power & Light neutral voltage graph referenced earth ground
3rd Row, Left: >75 volt pk-pk difference between FPL utility neutral and ground rods
3rd Row, Right: Enlargement of +245 volt transient @ 255° followed by a -325 volt spike
Bottom Left: 12 day summary shows sustained voltage to customer exceeded 137 volts RMS, 3 power interruptions (one caused by utility installing a Power Quality Analyzer), power sags, and transients that exceeded +/- 200 volts.
Bottom Right: The FPL utility employee in truck 6307, who installed a temporary Power Monitor, became annoyed when the customer inquired if the monitor was capable of comparing the utility's neutral to earth ground.  This website was started when the customer's 2 yr old son received a mild shock while in a tub of water when he put his tongue on the tub's spigot, connected to the FPL utility neutral.  The customer, who had been deposed as an expert witness against the utility, initiated an investigation into FPL's power quality, grounding, and bonding practices, only to find that many wooden poles were rotted.  The utility's neutral was found to have low voltage present, with voltage spikes in excess of 50 volts. This website is the result.

Another FPL employee:

Richard Burdge, an FPL employee assigned to the Communications Department and specializing in Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) remediation, saved FPL possibly thousands of dollars in damages, and potentially hundreds of thousands more in lawsuits involving safety issues.  He did this by doing his job well.

Richard Burdge came out to investigate why HDTV channels, a baby monitor, and even a satellite phone were being interfered with.  Richard Burdge identified several sources (FPL equipment on poles) that were radiating Radio and Television Frequencies, and one pole that was extremely "hot."

When the crews came out and started to work on the "hot" pole, they discovered an unsecured and intermittent neutral on a "drop" feeding a customer's home.  The crew immediately killed power to the residence, and secured the neutral.

RFI may be a nuisance for a utility, but in this case, FPL employee Richard Burdge may have saved a customer's life.


The existence of a legal duty of care owed by utilities to protect the public from unreasonable risk of harm is an essential element of a cause of action based on negligence. Stevens v. Jefferson, 436 So. 2d 33 (Fla. 1983). The extent of that duty of care is dependent on the scope of the anticipated risks to which the utility exposes others. Id. The Florida Supreme Court recognized long ago that telephone companies know that wooden telephone poles deteriorate over time. and that the utility has a duty to inspect and maintain them in a reasonably safe condition.

In Peninsular Telephone Co. v. Dority, 174 So. 446 (Fla. 1937),
the supreme court specifically held:
The defendant telephone company is held to take notice and have knowledge that wooden telephone line poles with one end in the ground do rot beneath the surface of the ground, and that such decay does not happen suddenly. . . . [T]herefore it is the duty of the company using such poles for its telephone wires to exercise all ordinary and reasonable care and diligence to maintain the safety of the poles by appropriate and sufficient examination and inspection of the condition of the poles being so used, including the parts of the poles that are below the surface of the ground as well as the portion that is above ground. Id. at 4503; see also Webb v. Glades Elec. Co-op., Inc., 521 So. 2d 258, 259 (Fla. 2d DCA 1988) (noting that utilities have a duty to, among other things, exercise care in the maintenance of their poles) (citations omitted). Simply put, a pole owner has a duty to maintain its poles to protect against the reasonably foreseeable harm that can befall the .... public from rotted-out poles.

FPL pays BellSouth to use poles not owned by it, and the same is true of BellSouth. "Joint use pole" is defined by the JUA as "a pole upon which space is provided under this Agreement for the attachments of both parties, whether such space is actually occupied by attachments or reserved therefore upon specific request."

click here for the smoking gun - rotted & decayed poles





FPL serves 4.2 million customers.
FPL reported that 3.2 million customers
were affected by the massive power outage
after Hurricane Wilma.

The above damage to power lines, telephone cables, and Cable TV was due to rotted and shallow buried poles.


This information is being supplied so that the end-user (customer) can spot potentially dangerous conditions, and notify his/her area Public Service Commission.  This was prompted because of rotted wood poles, missing and improper grounds, excessively high sustained voltages on drops to customer's homes  (greater than 126 volts, measured with a calibrated FLUKE 8840/AF), plus even higher transients and spikes.  When my own Tektronix Spectrum Analyzer was fried, I took a look around the area.  I didn't have to go far to find problems, including one pole with a 3 phase feeder that was emitting RF across the spectrum, well into the L-Band region. This prevented the proper operation of an Iridium Satellite Phone.

My claim for lightning damage, high transients, and excessive sustained voltage (also measured by one of their own service personnel), has been paid ($6,475.00) in November, 2002. These are pictures of our local power company's distribution equipment, to make others aware of potentially dangerous conditions, and what to look for. Unfortunately, transient amplitudes, waveform distortion, neutral voltage shifts, and sustained periods of overvoltage are still present in February of 2006.

Drop voltage exceeded a sustained 129 volts,
complete with transients exceeding +/-100 volts.


There is no ground on my end of the FP&L or Telco drop, as is common in my area.  Water and sewer pipes are PVC, and therefore not conductors.  These pictures were taken on a few streets, within about a 1/4 mile radius.  (Update: a ground rod has been installed.)

Many poles, including those with laterals from feeders, have NEVER had any vertical grounds installed. Some of these poles have telco cable feeds to DSLAMS and telco cross-boxes.

Peak lightning currents (99 percentile) exceed 200 kA, with slew rates of 400 kA/microsecond, and temperatures in excess of 50,000 degrees F.   This implies that a typical utility vertical (#6 copper wire) is a poor lightning ground, because of its high impedance.  This can be verified by studying lightning "flashover" on poles. Even FAA "AC 20-53A.11.a.(1)" sets forth tests based on a 200 kA peak lightning strike.

I personally notified Dana of the Code Compliance Department of the Town Of Davie, Florida, headed by Daniel Stalone, of these dangerous conditions, and waited with a Florida Public Service Commission Engineer. 

Davie Town Code Compliance never bothered to even check it out, leaving the residents of the Town where these pictures were taken with unsafe conditions, and to fend for themselves in this hurricane-prone area.( 1 )  

Florida Power & Light -and- BellSouth Public Utilities: 
Fort Lauderdale Florida Area

Open grounds present a SAFETY HAZARD to the public.
  Please note the dark "lightning channel" 
on both sides of the open vertical ground. 

The base of this pole was so rotted that I could put half of my hand inside.
 Any Telephone, Cable-TV, or FP&L Employee that climbs this pole may be RISKING THEIR LIFE. 

This rotted pole is lucky to even be standing.  The inside of this pole is virtually HOLLOW.   I can stick my whole hand inside this pole.   Please note open vertical ground wire on the left side of pole.

Another rotted pole with the Florida HURRICANE SEASON approaching.

Overgrown Vegetation - FPL Vice President of Electrical Distribution, Geisha Williams,
stated overgrown vegetation doesn't exist.  She appeared on Miami Florida's WPBT-TV
on Sunday, November 20, 2005, at approximately 11:45 AM.

15,000 volt laterals going through overgrown vegetation (trees and vines), present a safety hazard to the public.  The above pictures were taken on 11-5-2004, on just one block.

The top, bare power line (called a "lateral") carries 15,000 volts to transformers on backyard poles, and comes in contact with trees (overgrown vegetation), electrifying these trees, leaving tell-tale burn marks on branches.  This contributes to unnecessary "faults" (power outages) on the power grid.  Children playing near the base of this tree could be electrocuted.  

The splices in both the 15,000 volt lateral bare wire (top) and the neutral wire (below), indicate an on-going problem.

Geisha Williams, vice president of electrical distribution for FPL, said, “We care about two things: Safety - yours and ours - and getting your power back with as little inconvenience and as quickly as possible."

ENVIRONMENT NEWS SERVICE, September 3, 2004 (after hurricane Francis) - click here for full story

The above pictures were taken on 11-9-2004, on my own block.  Children and adults could be killed coming in contact with this overgrown vegetation (trees) touching bare 15,000 volt power lines, a negligent safety hazard reported 3 months earlier.  What prompted posting these pictures was Florida Power & Light's response that they could find nothing wrong.  

Since we are entering the "dry season," I thought I'd take pictures, before high-voltage arcing burned the tree down!

Heavy RFI and TVI originate from LA's and insulators on spans in front of Seminole Boy Scout Camp.  These overgrown trees are just waiting to fall on the feeder on the right side of the road.  Perhaps this main feeder should have been re-routed, or at least buried as it passed in front of the trees at the Boy Scout Camp.

See results below, after hurricane Wilma.

Seminole Boy Scout Camp, after hurricane Wilma.

When I say I have Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) from FPL ( Florida Power and Light ), the local power utility, I mean it:

Click here for MPEG video of power grid RFI on a GOOD day 

Click here for MPEG video of power grid RFI on a BAD day  1-29-2005

FCC Part 15 rules regulating "unintentional radiators" require that the operator of such devices must cease operation upon FCC notification that it's causing harmful interference. "Operation may not resume until the condition causing the harmful interference has been corrected."

"Drops" to homes are allowed to become overgrown with vegetation.

More safety hazards: open vertical grounds

Still more unsafe open grounds

This pole has 2 open grounds. 
This open-ground pole has underground Telco feeds to a cross-box on a slab.

 Example of how NOT to splice a vertical ground on a utility pole. This goes to a 3 phase neutral, which is also common to Telco and Cable-TV messengers. Would you want this ground protecting your home?

To make matters worse, another picture below was taken of the same dangerous "splice" on November 1, 2004, over two years later !

Same Pole, 10-01-2004, 2-1/2 years later

It's unsafe grounds like this that can contribute to electrocution during an electrical storm, telephone outages, cable-tv disruption, et.

P.S.  The cable company has equipment on the next pole to the South. FPL had a fault on 10-06-2004 @ ~13:51 hrs.  Although momentary, Cable TV customers in the area, Internet over Cable, and VoIP Cable Phone subscribers, were without service for hours. 

Oxidized ground rod with type approved clamp(?) to oxidized vertical ground wire on pole.  I recall reading that lightning strikes can exceed 100,000 amps, but I question whether this unsafe ground could handle a milliamp.

This is one of many surge protectors (lightning arresters) with connectors blown off, allowing a lightning strike to pass through the primary of the step-down transformer, and the lightning surge is passed to the secondary.  The surge on the secondary goes into customers homes and businesses, and can damage communications equipment, computers, appliances,  lights, and in the case of Radio and Television Stations, some very costly equipment.

The not-so-lucky customer whose house was fed by this 15,000 volt line through a step-down transformer, reported blown appliances, et. The surge protector's "ground" is blown about 1/4 the way around the pole!

This pole carries 2 phases, and one has no active surge protector.
Note discoloration of the top of the pole caused by
lightning "flashover" to unprotected top phase.

The wire to the top of the center surge protector (middle) SHOULD BE connected to the fuse holder.  The fuse, however, is not in its holder, but is dangling from the neutral, along with the wire that appears to have been connected to the surge protector. The top 3 phases are all "live" to the right (West).  The "live" center phase (top) is currently unprotected by this bank of protectors.

The wood pole under the 220 kv lines was the best path to ground for a lightning strike.  It appears to have followed a rather hefty Telco feed to a slab-mounted Telco cross-box.  Perhaps #6 copper wire is an insufficient ground for a 100,000 amp lightning strike. 

At least it's only 120 volts.  This is common for area street lamps.

This  hanging line is still connected to the un-fused secondary of a live transformer.

Leaning "Tower of Power"

"Drop Cover" dropped.


***  BELL SOUTH  ***

BellSouth ran wires above drop ceiling.  BellSouth now tells the customer that HE must pay to have these BellSouth "Company Installed" lines re-run,  and patch holes in walls and ceiling, because BellSouth refuses to do so!

A closer look at a BellSouth "Company Installation"
All 5 holes above were made by BellSouth in this customer's home.

This BellSouth "Company Installation" had no clamps to the side of this structure. The wind whipped the phone line until it broke.  BellSouth will not stand behind their work.

This BellSouth box is 19" above ground, about car bumper height.


( 1 ) This is the same Town Of Davie (Florida) Code Compliance Department, headed by Daniel Stalone, that forced an elderly couple to live in a barn, without electricity or running water, because their house did not meet current code.  The stupidity of that action was compounded when Daniel Stalone was notified that the house was "Grandfathered In," and was built 10 years before the town annexed this area.  (It should also be noted that this couple's autistic grandson was removed because of this incident, and then lost by DCF, when the couple had no home to keep the young child.  The elderly man has a heart condition, and his wife cannot hear without the use of hearing aids.)