Preventing power outages during thunderstorms

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WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Summer certainly is severe weather season, and with severe weather comes the risk for power outages. But utility companies are taking action to keep the lights on when strong winds threaten to bring down trees and wires.

Western Massachusetts Electric Company trims trees year-round to reduce the risk of outages. Trees are the leading cause of electrical service interruptions. WMECo invests $7 million each year to trim trees near their 3,400 miles of electrical wiring across the western part of the state. The utility company trims on a four-year cycle; meaning that they trim trees back from each power line at least once every four years.

“What our goal is is to prune trees back so that the tree branches don’t touch the electrical wires, and when the wind blows, the limbs are able to move somewhat freely in those situations and not hit and slam our wires,” WMECo senior arborist Calvin Layton said.

WMECo doesn’t just trim trees, they also remove trees that have a high risk of causing problems. The older the tree, the more likely it is to cause outages.

If you notice a tree that is getting too close to wires, you are asked to call your local utility company, so they can check it out before it causes a power outage.

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