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Towering Utility Poles Cause High Anxiety On Long Island's East End

EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Towering utility poles being erected on Long Island's East End are powering complaints from residents.

As CBS 2's Jennifer McLogan reported, PSEG Long Island is hoisting the 65- to 70-foot hurricane-resistant poles from East Hampton to Amagansett to bolster the power grid on Long Island.

But East Hampton residents are furious, citing health, aesthetic and safety fears.

"Trust me, we are not going to stop until these poles come down," said resident Debra Foster.

Homeowner Michael Brown said he worries the poles could topple onto his family's home during a storm and spark fires from the new higher voltage wires.

Homeowners also complain that trees are being butchered in the process.

East Hampton residents say they're demanding that PSEG, which inherited the project from LIPA when it took over in January, put the wires underground, suspend the project or reroute the power line.

"Sixty-five feet just doesn't fit in this area at all. It's a hazard in many ways," said resident John Geehreng.

Resident Richard Shilowich wants to know why the utility doesn't listen to customers and bury the wires.

"Third-world countries are developing with their lines underground," he said.

PSEG said burying the lines may be cost prohibitive and that making the immediate upgrades are necessary to protect against outages during extreme weather.

"My plea with the Governor Cuomo was to intervene and to provide some of the Sandy FEMA money to help bury the lines," said East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell.

Prompted by complaints, PSEG says it will attend Wednesday's village board meeting to listen to residents' concerns about the poles.

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