First Energy takes proactive step in preventing outages by trimming trees beforehand

Local News

Trees and branches coming down on power lines is the leading cause of outages in severe weather

(WKBN) – Lately, you may have seen some helicopters flying around the area, some with saws hanging from them. First Energy said it’s because they’re tree trimming.

First Energy is investing $31.5 million to prevent tree-related power outages during summer storms.

“By doing a lot of this proactive tree trimming work now, we are helping to minimize the impact of damages caused by severe weather. So this is really a proactive step to help prevent and minimize outages that are caused by tree-related damages,” said Lauren Siburkis, First Energy spokesperson.

She said that’s the leading cause of outages in severe weather.

“The threat of a power outage always exists because if a tree or a branch falls into our equipment, no matter how updated and modernized it is, it will cause a power outage. So this is the first line of defense in preventing power outages because we’re keeping the branches and the trees far away from our lines and our equipment.”

Siburkis said using helicopters with saws makes it easier to access certain areas that trucks might not be able to get to.

Work is being done in Mahoning, Columbiana, Trumbull, Mercer and Lawrence counties.

So far, workers are done with more than 2,000 miles of tree trimming work. When all is said and done, First Energy will have trimmed trees along power lines for more than 6,000 miles.

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