B.C. Hydro and tree service crews work on a section of Nanaimo River Road which suffered extensive damage to power lines when trees were toppled by powerful winds last December. (News Bulletin file photo)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Topping trees helps prevent downed lines

Check of dead trees near power lines could result in notification to homeowners, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: B.C. Hydro warns about effects of wild weather, Dec. 3.

Question: What do you get when trees are allowed to grow taller than the power lines along roads and mix that with a windstorm? Answer: Cold and dark.

Once again we are being warned by B.C. Hydro that our power infrastructure is poorly designed and to expect the usual outages we are (not) getting used to, and to “be prepared.”

Over the years I have had trees removed on my property, kept a couple of them topped so they are just a tall bush, and had branches removed; the last time the crews came by to deal with the overgrowth, they did their trimming down to my neighbour’s property, skipped over mine because it was already done, then carried on with the next lot.

It seems that, although some trees are blown down, many are dead or diseased and when they break and come down on the lines, the power goes out. Perhaps a check of dead trees near the power lines should result in a notification to property owners and a fine if the danger tree interrupts power.

Last windstorm I was stuck in a traffic jam when a tree came down across wires on Cedar Road. Fortunately the wires held the tree up and no one got hurt; more fortunately the power was already out from the 15-20 trees already down in the area. In my area two trees came down, took out the power and left many people unable to access the South Wellington valley for at least three hours. Hydro crews cleared downed wires, then went on to the next problem, but the trees were still across the road.

I am going to keep a powersaw and a length of chain in my truck so next time (there will be a next time) I won’t be standing in the dark and rain staring at a log preventing me from getting home. Maybe even send a bill to hydro.

As for myself my plan is to have a generator professionally installed as soon as I can.

And let the wind blow.

Rod Hancock, Nanaimo

RELATED: B.C. storm totals $37 million in insured damages

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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