Keeping Trees Trimmed Could Reduce Power Loss During a Hurricane

The loss of electricity, like any utility, can become quite uncomfortable if it’s not resolved quickly. In the event of a tropical system impacting South Florida, the time frame for power restoration can range from hours, to days or to weeks, depending on the situation.

A preventative measure that can be taken at home, before the hurricane season ramps up, is to inspect your property for any trees or vegetation that may interfere with power lines. Florida Power and Light maintains their transmission and distribution lines year-round, but it’s often the lines in your neighborhood that contribute to power loss, even on a sunny and dry day.

If you are unsure if a tree limb inside a “trim zone” is the responsibility of the homeowner or the utility company, Florida Power and Light encourages you to contact them before attempting to trim the tree. A trim zone can be defined as a 10-foot invisible box around the lines in your neighborhood and on your property.

“We will make sure we come out and look at it,” says Bill Orlove Florida Power & Light Spokesperson in a May interview. “We don’t want people trimming trees that look like they may be too close to the power lines.”

If the responsibility belongs to Florida Power and Light, they will handle the trimming. However, if the interference to a power line comes from your property, the property owner is responsible. Use only qualified professional service providers to execute the work.

Another suggestion is to consider the type of landscaping on your property and to avoid planting any trees or shrubs that may present a problem as they grow. As part of the “Right Tree, Right Place” initiative, FPL asks that you to think ahead to the potential growth of new trees and the interference they may cause. Planting the proper tree in the right place today may ease the worry of power interruption tomorrow.

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