Trimming Future Problems
At Tri-State EMC, we’re committed to providing you with reliable power. There are some things we can’t stop – high winds, ice storms, lightning strikes, hurricanes – but we do what we can to prevent other outage culprits.
As you probably can guess, weather-related events are the biggest cause of power outages for Tri-State EMC. But vegetation – trees, shrubs, brush – growing too close to power lines and distribution equipment leads to 15 percent of power interruptions.
To “cut back” on potential tree related problems, we operate an aggressive right-of-way maintenance program. We implemented a policy requiring 20 feet on each side of our power lines, for a total of 40 feet. The reason for this policy was to increase the reliability of power by lessening the chances of outages caused by fallen trees and broken limbs. Typically, fallen trees and broken limbs account for a majority of outages during storms.
Our right-of-way policy has been very successful in reducing the length of outages. Our crews look for foliage growing under lines, overhanging branches, leaning trees or other types of “danger” trees that could pulls down a power line if they fall, as well as trees that could grow into lines. It’s a job that never ends – by the time crews finish trimming activities along our miles of distribution lines, vegetation has begun to grow back at the starting point.
In working to keep a safe, reliable, and affordable supply of power flowing to your home or business, we need your help. First we appreciate your patience as we work in your area. Second, let us know if you notice trees or branches that might pose a risk to our power lines.
Even more important, before planting trees in your yard, think about how tall they may grow and how wide their branches could spread. As a rule of thumb, there should be 25 feet of ground-to-sky clearance on each side of our utility poles to give power lines plenty of space. Choose tree varieties with care and plant with power lines in mind.
Thanks for your help as we work together to keep electricity reliable.
Right of Way Manager