Tree Pruning And Removal From Power Lines In Topeka

852 words - 4 pages

Wouldn’t it be difficult living without electricity? We live in a world where technology is constantly being innovated; therefore I feel it would be. In Topeka, especially on the eastern side of town, buildings are old and so are the power lines that energize them. These lines were designed based on the design of the infrastructures that were built around the same time. Since then a lot of development has occurred and has since caused problems due to power lines being above ground. The general design was based on tracing developments via easements and sidewalks. Tim Hrenchir, an editor for the Topeka Capitol Journal, stated that weather and tree branches are the cause of forty percent of city power outages; while another eight percent is due to traffic accidents (Hrenchir). Where would you say the problem lays?
A few years ago, a severe winter storm blew through the Topeka area and knocked out several power lines, resulting in thousands of power outages. There was a big issue with restoring electricity because of the frozen tree branches grounding out power lines. Westar energy hired a professional tree trimming contractor to remove trees from power lines, so that their crews could get in and restore power to residential areas. Gina Penzig, a Westar spokeswoman said, Westar clears trees from the areas near power lines to maintain safe and reliable electrical service to its customers (Hrenchir). Of course, residents were all for electricity being restored; but according to councilman John Alcala, property owners complained about what they considered to be the irresponsible pruning of trees by Wright Tree Service – Westar’s contracted service. (Hrenchir) City council members eventually approved a resolution that directed the city attorneys office to meet with private and public utilites and the Kansas Corporation Commision to discuss the establishment of a community standard for the trimming of trees by utilities. Hrenchir, reported the goal was to increase the quality and quantity of right-of-way trees, reducing pruning, educating, and improve communicating the satisfaction of affected landowners and customers.
My Grandmother, Susan Banks, was an employee of Westar Energy for more than 35 years. She was assigned duties in her neighborhood and was given the responsibility of educating the community and answering any questions the people had. Residents were concerned about debris left behind after tree removals. Banks, explained that it was the contractors responsibility for any debris that would be left behind. Banks also made the residents aware that Westar would temporarily...

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