(September 24, 2020) — Trees coming in contact with power lines is by far the most common cause of power outages, creates a safety hazard and is costly to electric utilities. Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative is working to reduce this impact by contracting with Trees, Incorporated and Gunnison Tree Service to keep a safe distance between the power distribution system and vegetation, as well as prepare the areas for fiber construction.
For the next several months, crews will be working in Cuba Landing, Buffalo, along Highway 13 and other areas in the north-northwest and southeast sections of Perry County. Crews are also working in Hickman County in the Dyer Road area, as well as the Bucksnort, Only, Wolf Creek, Russell Creek, and Lost Creek areas to the electric substation in Lobelville (Perry County).
“We have one crew that clears and trims, and then, a clean-up crew comes in to put things back in order,” says MLEC System Vegetation Manager Josh McDonald. “Depending on the work and area, it could take a day or so for the clean-up crew to reach the job site. We apologize that the two crews are not at the same spot, but this is the most time- and cost-effective method.
MLEC contracts with workers who are trained to trim trees so limbs are a safe distance from overhead power lines and identify trees with a dead root system that need removed to avoid future situations. Trimming practices are in accordance with the International Society of Arboriculture and the National Arbor Day Foundation recommended guidelines and standards for good tree health.
“We understand tree trimming is a sensitive issue, but it is also vital to keeping our members’ lights on, preventing accidents and controlling costly outages and equipment repair,” says MLEC President and CEO Keith Carnahan. “MLEC works with our members to keep the lines of communication open and strike a balance between vegetation and service.”
MLEC is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric utility that serves more than 35,000 meters in Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Lewis and Perry counties. Learn more about MLEC’s vegetation management program and other information at www.mlec.com.