Appalachian Power trimming trees as part of pilot program - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Appalachian Power trimming trees as part of pilot program

Posted: Updated:

Appalachian Power is taking a proactive approach to prevent power outages. They say about half of all outages are caused by trees, the biggest single cause of power outages.

"At least three to four times a month, sometimes more, the power does go off at least once or twice" said Victoria Hubert, who lives in Vinton, just a few hundred yards from where crews spent the day trimming trees on Washington Avenue.

Appalachian Power hopes by cutting trees more often, it would mean fewer outages. As part of a new pilot program, they will cut trees along some select routes every four years.  The program comes at a cost of about $30 million dollars, increasing the trimming budget by $5-10 million per year for the next few years. In 2008, APCo spent about $38 million on tree trimming. Every year since they've spent about $28 million.

"Trying to balance the cost and reliability of service is something we always struggle with" said Todd Burns, an APCo spokesman. "Trimming trees is one of our largest expenses and it's the number one cause of outages so we're hoping we can find something to save customers money and keep the lights on."

APCo directs the company they've contracted with Asplundh Tree Expert Company where to go. To keep up with the additional work, Asplundh is hiring an extra 80-90 people, an increase of about 20 percent from the current 650 employees.

"It gets a little unsightly but it does help. In the windstorm, once they trim the trees down, every wind storm we get doesn't knock out the power" said Hubert.

Exactly what APCo is hoping for across southwest Virginia.

APCo tells WSLS the cost won't be passed onto customers until at least next year, saying the majority of these expenses will be rolled into cases in 2014 and 2016.

If you're interested in a job with Asplundh, you can call 540-985-4750.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Prostitution sting nets 31 arrests

    Prostitution sting nets 31 arrests

    Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
    31 people are in trouble with the law after a three day prostitution sting in Richmond. Police told NBC12 they targeted specific areas where residents and business owners complained about the illegal activity.
  • Motorcyclist dies in Nelson Co. crash

    Motorcyclist dies in Nelson Co. crash

    Sunday, July 27 2014 8:16 PM EDT2014-07-28 00:16:34 GMT
    Nelson County - (VA State Police)Virginia State Police Sr. Trooper E.D. Everhart responded to a two-vehicle crash Saturday (July 26) in Nelson County. The crash occurred at 10:30 a.m., at the intersection of Routes 29 and 56. A 2009 Harley Davidson FLHT was traveling north on Route 29 when it crossed the center of the roadway into the southbound lanes. The motorcycle then struck a southbound 2010 Honda Civic. The moto...
    Nelson County - (VA State Police)Virginia State Police Sr. Trooper E.D. Everhart responded to a two-vehicle crash Saturday (July 26) in Nelson County. The crash occurred at 10:30 a.m., at the intersection of Routes 29 and 56. A 2009 Harley Davidson FLHT was traveling north on Route 29 when it crossed the center of the roadway into the southbound lanes. The motorcycle then struck a southbound 2010 Honda Civic. The moto...
  • Confederate Flag Protest in Lexington

    Confederate Flag Protest in Lexington

    Saturday, July 26 2014 7:30 PM EDT2014-07-26 23:30:10 GMT
    Organizers from the Sons of the Confederate Veterans held a rally in Lexington. This comes after the administration at Washington and Lee University recently decided to remove Confederate flags from Lee Chapel. 250 People from Maryland to Georgia participated in the rally. They say he purpose of the rally is to get the administration at Washington and Lee University to reverse their decision adn to education those who may have some misconceptions about the Confederate flag. Historian David Ch...
    Organizers from the Sons of the Confederate Veterans held a rally in Lexington. This comes after the administration at Washington and Lee University recently decided to remove Confederate flags from Lee Chapel. 250 People from Maryland to Georgia participated in the rally. They say he purpose of the rally is to get the administration at Washington and Lee University to reverse their decision adn to education those who may have some misconceptions about the Confederate flag. Historian David Ch...
  • Accident causing lane closures on Interstate 81-North

    UPDATE: Interstate 81 lane reopens after Botetourt Crash

    UPDATE: Interstate 81 lane reopens after Botetourt Crash

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:49 AM EDT2014-07-25 12:49:42 GMT
    Two lanes are still closed but traffic is now passing on the right shoulder.
    Two lanes are still closed but traffic is now passing on the right shoulder.
  • UPDATE: Crash on Interstate 81 in Montgomery Co.

    UPDATE: Crash on Interstate 81 in Montgomery Co.

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:09 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:09:04 GMT
    All lanes on I-81 southbound are closed due to a tractor trailer crash near mile marker 120
    All lanes on I-81 southbound are closed due to a tractor trailer crash near mile marker 120
  • Floydfest attracts people from all walks of life

    Floydfest attracts people from all walks of life

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:26 PM EDT2014-07-24 03:26:58 GMT
    FloydFest 13 kicked off on Wednesday. Thousands of people from different walks of life will attend various events. Some come to the music festival to escape the monotony of everyday living."
    FloydFest 13 kicked off on Wednesday. Thousands of people from different walks of life will attend various events. Some come to the music festival to escape the monotony of everyday living."

Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.