Submitted by Mitch Gross, Eversource.
BERLIN, Conn. (September 14, 2020) – As Eversource continues to remove stormed-damaged trees and branches following last month’s powerful storms, the energy company urges customers to inspect trees on their own property that could pose a risk to the electric system and to support the energy company’s tree-trimming and hazard tree removal program. More than 10,000 trees toppled during Tropical Storm Isaias and the late-August microburst in Branford and surrounding communities. Since those violent storms, Eversource has identified and removed hundreds of additional storm-damaged trees that threatened electric reliability.
“Trees are the number one cause of power outages and removing these trees is critical, especially with fierce storms happening more frequently. Roughly 60% of Connecticut’s landscape is forested, with many large, mature trees located over or near power lines,” said Eversource Vegetation Management Manager Alan Carey. “We trim and remove hazardous trees every day along state and local roads and can’t stress enough the importance of communities and customers working collaboratively with us to support these efforts so we can reduce the number of tree-related power outages in future storms.”
Customers’ restoration time after a storm is greatly impacted by the extensive tree-clearing required before Eversource can repair the electric system and restore power to customers. Downed trees blocking roads also create increased public safety risks for fire, police and other first responders. The recent fierce storms that carved paths of destruction across the state damaged not only dead and diseased trees, but also brought down mature, healthy trees with full-leaf canopies. Eversource continues to make investments in the electric system to strengthen it to be more resilient to the region’s changing weather. Despite those efforts, the electric grid is not built to withstand the impacts of massive, mature trees falling on it.
This year alone, the energy company is spending $83 million trimming branches and removing hazardous trees along 4,200 miles of roads across Connecticut as part of its robust vegetation management program. “Our vegetation management program is a thoughtful plan that balances the needs of reliable service to our customers and the natural beauty of our communities,” said Carey. “We appreciate the understanding of town leaders and property owners as we work together to lessen the risk of tree-caused power outages in future storms.”
to see how Eversource arborists identify dead or dying trees and for details on the company’s comprehensive vegetation management program, please visit Eversource.com