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PPL tree crews are working hard to prevent power outages

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 16 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 17 2013 06:21:18 PM CST

Hurricanes Sandy and Irene damaged a lot of trees and knocked out power to thousands over the last two years.

Hurricanes Sandy and Irene damaged a lot of trees and knocked out power to thousands over the last two years.

Now PPL is doing something about it.

Crews are aggressively continuing a tree pruning program in hopes that the next storm doesn't do the same thing.

Many spent night after night in the cold with no power after Superstorm Sandy last year, and snowmageddon two years ago.

This should be a welcome sight.

Crews say one downed tree could black out thousands of homes and businesses.

Hurricane Irene knocked out power to over 200 thousand customers in the PPL service area.

Many of those trees were on East Rock Road in Salisbury Township, Lehigh County.

"This is really one of our worst performing circuits or line sections in this region, in the Lehigh Valley region, for tree contact," said Joe Nixon, spokesperson for PPL Electric Utilities.

The goal is to cut any branches or trees so they are far away from power lines.

In this case, that's 25 feet.
PPL's coverage area includes 10,000 square miles covering 50,000 miles of power lines.

"We've already completed work on our high voltage transmission lines," added Nixon. "So now that is kind of cascading down now to you'll see work on the lower voltage transmission lines and then more work on these distribution lines."

PPL officials say they do a lot to tell customers about the tree trimming in their neighborhood.

There's a website you can go to and usually weeks before these crews come out to start working, they put door hangers on your front door.

"Our customers expect the best reliability that we can offer," said Nixon. "So that's what we are doing."

Each area is on a four year growth management plan.

PPL officials say if they do spot a problem before trimming an area they take care of the issue right away.