Ohio Edison tree trimming continues this year in Valley
Special to the Salem News
As spring continues to bloom, tree trimming will continue by Ohio Edison.
The utility company is investing $22 million in tree trimming and vegetation management around the Mahoning Valley in an attempt to prevent tree-related power outages during storms.
The maintenance helps to reduce outages caused by trees, said Lauren Siburkis, spokeswoman for Ohio Edison. “The biggest threats to our electric system during severe weather are trees and branches falling into our equipment,” she said.
“Proactive tree trimming is some of the most important and effective work we do every year to maintain our power system and minimize the impact of damage caused by severe weather,” said Edward Shuttleworth, regional president of Ohio Edison and Penn Power.
Tree trimming is completed on a four-year cycle. Diseased or dangerous trees may be removed, and vegetation inspection near lines are is conducted.
In the greater Youngstown area, contractors have trimmed along more than 1,000 miles of power lines on the ground. By year’s end, an additional 3,850 miles will be addressed.
Helicopters with giant saws dangling from them also will be used over the course of the next few weeks to trim where crews on the ground cannot reach.
Aerial saw work is typically done near power power lines in areas that may be environmentally sensitive or inaccessible to bucket trucks and other vehicles, Siburkis said.
The helicopter work eliminates risk of injury near high-voltage equipment. Ohio Edison has contracted with Aerial Solutions, which owns and operates the helicopter and saw.
People in Youngstown, Lordstown and McDonald will see these helicopters soon, weather permitting.
Throughout the rest of the year, targeted areas for trimming in the Mahoning Valley are: Guilford Lake, Lisbon, Petersburg and Salem in Columbiana County; Austintown, Boardman, Campbell, Canfield, Ellsworth, Mineral Ridge, New Middletown, North Jackson, North Lima, Poland, Sebring, Struthers and Youngstown in Mahoning County; and Andover, Brookfield, Fowler, Hartford, Hubbard, Kinsman, Leavittsburg, Liberty, Parkman, Southington, Vienna, Warren and Williamsfield in the Trumbull County area.