When a serious storm hits — be it a hurricane or blizzard — one side effect is often a loss of power. And few events anger residents more than a prolonged power outage.
And, according to United Illuminating, the main culprit in those outages is trees — both dead and live, positioned around power lines that come down when they do.
So in an attempt to mitigate future occurrences, UI is undertaking an Enhanced Tree Trimming for its Distribution Vegetation Management Program that will virtually wipe out many trees around power lines.
"UI has previously used U or V-shaped directional pruning to run wires through the tree canopy, and reports that it has worked well for average New England weather," acccording to the Garden Club of New Haven's website.
But, the Garden Club believes, the new program will radically change the landscape of the towns UI covers, including Ansonia, Bridgeport, Derby, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Hamden, Milford, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Shelton, Stratford, Trumbull, West Haven and Woodbridge.
On its website, the Garden Club presents two pictures — one shot of Edwards Street in New Haven before the tree removal, and the second depicting what it would look like afterwards.
"Wholesale removal of healthy roadside trees imposes significant costs on communities, their residents and businesses," the site says, "due to the loss of the benefits provided by healthy roadside trees."
There's no pledge from UI to replace the healthy trees it removes, it says.
And in Hamden, many are likewise upset at the prospect of the implementation of the program here. There are several meetings scheduled to discuss the issue, including one with UI officials.
The meetings include:
- Thursday, Jan. 9 the Whitneyville Civic Association will meet at 7:30 p.m. at Whitneyville Church, where the plan will be discussed;
- Monday, Jan. 13 the Dunbar Hill Civic Association will host Jim Cole, the Director of Transmission, Distribution, Operations and Maintenance for United Illuminating, who will speak about the program. The meeting starts at 7:15 p.m. at the Dunbar Hill Volunteer Fire Station, 420 Dunbar Hill Road.
- Wednesday, Jan. 15 UI will host a workshop on the program at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Hamden Middle School. The meeting was originally scheduled to take place at Memorial Town Hall but has now been moved to the middle school. The public is invited and will have the opportunity to speak.
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