Crews working to prevent future outages from snow downing branches/trees
DURANGO, Colo. – In advance of winter snow storms, La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) is continuing its routine maintenance of its lines, trimming and removing trees that pose a hazard to the electrical system.
Crews will be working in the next two months, weather permitting, along CR 240 (Florida Road), up CR 238/239 and along Valle Vista Way, and along both East Animas (CR 250) and Animas View (CR 203), as well as on west along Hwy 160 south to Marvel, Kline, and Redmesa to the state line, plus all surrounding areas.
“A chief cause of outages during the winter is snow-laden branches and trees falling into overhead lines,” said Steve Gregg, LPEA manager of operations. “By maintaining our routine inspection, maintenance and tree-trimming program, which involves crews systematically driving around our service territory and observing the trees, and then trimming or removing any that might pose a hazard, we’ve dramatically decreased our snow-related outages.”
According to LPEA officials, removal of hazardous trees or branches is also necessary for public safety and to avoid the possibility of fires caused by limbs or trees falling onto or through power lines.
Trees deemed “hazardous” are those that are dead, damaged, infested with insects, showing evidence that the root system is jeopardized or unstable, and/or one that may be leaning toward power lines and is tall enough to come into contact with LPEA electrical equipment if it were to fall.
If homeowners observe a potentially hazardous tree on their property that may impact an electrical line, they should inform LPEA.
“If a tree is potentially impacting a line, for safety’s sake, let us remove it,” said Gregg. “While we can’t stop all trees from falling when Mother Nature gets unusually aggressive, we take great pride in being proactive with our system maintenance to keep the lights on for our members.”
All residents in the tree maintenance area have received notification via mail of LPEA’s work in their neighborhoods. No specific time frames are established for the maintenance work, but should LPEA personnel need to access private property to patrol and begin assessing problems, followed by the trimming crew for the routine maintenance, they will attempt to speak with the homeowner personally before entering the property.
LPEA customers with additional questions or concerns regarding tree trimming are urged to call Roland Pack, 970.382.7183.
LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with in excess of 42,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible. For additional information, contact LPEA at 970.247.5786 or visit www.lpea.coop.