Wet, heavy snow brought down tree limbs onto power lines Sunday causing many Nebraskans to lose electricity. About 50,000 Omaha Public Power District customers were without service, some until midnight today. Mike Norris is a utility forester and says they have about 90 contractors that work year round to prevent potential problems and they rely on homeowners for input.
Norris says, “If a customer or property owner has a concern or sees something that looks unusual or needs attention, we encourage them to call us. One of our arborists will come out and inspect the tree and then we would address it at that time. Other times customers are removing a tree and if it is within ten feet of the wires we would have to provide them with an assist to make it safe for them to finish removing the tree.”
Norris says OPPD has 90 contractors that inspect and trim trees year round to get ahead of future problems. Sunday was a different situation as many of the trees had not dropped their leaves and the weight of the wet snow caused branches to break or sag onto lines. Those had to be cleared before power could be restored. Norris says during their regular trim cycle they remove the tree debris from the yard. During situations where there are many outages to restore the removal of the debris is the homeowners responsibility.