Q. Duke Energy Progress has cut trees, including live oaks, near wires in modest-income neighborhoods all over town, but in what appears to be special treatment for high income areas, has not cut trees back in Glen Meade or Forest Hills for years. Is Duke going to cut trees in these two upper-income neighborhoods like they did in other parts of town? If so, when?
A. “We are currently in the process of performing maintenance across all of our distribution system, including lines in the Wilmington area,” said Jeff Brooks, a spokesman for Duke Energy Progress. “We must constantly work to balance aesthetic concerns with our responsibility to provide a reliable electric system for the 1.5 million households and businesses that Duke Energy Progress serves.”
According to Brooks, trimming decisions are based on line voltage, tree placement and other factors – not the relative affluence of the neighborhood.
“Trimming practices vary based on the voltage and type of line, as well as the type of tree and its proximity to the line. In some cases, the tree may even need to be removed to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the line,” he said. “Duke Energy Progress maintains more than 40,000 miles of overhead power lines in the Carolinas, so trimming all of that mileage is a multi-year operation. We still have many more areas of Wilmington to trim, including the neighborhoods you mentioned, before our multi-year project is complete.”
Date posted: October 18, 2013
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