Tree Trimming Near Power Lines in QCA - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Tree Trimming Near Power Lines in QCA

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We all know this time of year brings with it a severe weather threat and the possibility of trees falling on power lines, knocking out electricity to big areas at a time.

MidAmerican Energy is taking steps right now to try to reduce the risks.

The company has contracted crews out in communities across Iowa and some in Illinois, including here in the Quad Cities, working to maintain the trees around MidAmerican power utilities.

MidAmerican says fallen trees and branches cause upwards of 10 percent of electric outages, so it's important to prune or remove trees before they create problems.

"The trees near electrical lines must be pruned or removed to alleviate any safety hazards and improve the service reliability to our customers," said Abby Bottenfield, MidAmerican Energy Spokesperson.

But, we've all heard stories about  disgruntled customers, unhappy with the way tree trimming on their property has been handled.

Just like we've heard stories from other customers who are very pleased with the service on their land.

For all customers, it's important to know your rights as a property owner when it comes to your trees near power lines:

"We notify customers in advance that trimming will be performed in their area, and we will only prune what is necessary for electric safety and reliability," Bottenfield said.

"MidAmerican Energy obtains the rights around our power lines as outlined through electric tariffs and easements that we are responsible to maintain the power line on a customers' property," she explained.

MidAmerican is not alone in that.

Alliant Energy, for example, sends its crews to trim trees along primary transmission and distribution lines, with permission to do so under franchise and easement agreements, according to its website.

The website states that Alliant won't remove trees without homeowner permission.

And, Ameren's website says it sends notice to customers in areas where trees will be trimmed as part of routine maintenance, and it offers a hotline for customers with questions or complaints.

MidAmerican also offers a 24/7 hotline for customers to report concerns about vegetation management on their property.

"It is important to maintain good relations with our customers," Bottenfield said. "It's a top priority for MidAmerican Energy."

Safety is a top priority, too. 

If you are planning to trim the trees anywhere near your power lines yourself,  you should call your power company ahead of time.

"If anyone or any equipment comes into contact with energized lines it can cause serious injury or even death," Bottenfield warned.

"We are happy to work with customers to ensure everyone's safety."

We would love to hear your experiences - good and bad - with having the trees on your property trimmed around power lines in the past.

Weigh in on our Facebook page or tweet us @KWQCNews.
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