VIDOR — Weather patterns in recent years have made Entergy Texas, Inc.’s vegetation management program more important than ever to ensuring reliable service for Southeast Texans. That’s because drought, storms and other events have led to, among other things, an unusually large number of “danger” trees in need of removal from areas close to power lines.
Identifying and removing danger trees, along with other vegetation that could interfere with electricity delivery to your home is one part of the job Entergy Texas representatives have in front of them over the next three months as they finish a nearly year-long project that includes both the Mauriceville and McLewis communities. They have also begun a project in Vidor that is expected to be completed by the end of April.
“The number one cause of power outages is some sort of vegetation getting tangled up in a power line,” said Johnny Trahan, customer service manager for Entergy Texas in Orange County. “So it’s easy to see why we place such a high priority on keeping the lines clear.”
The work in the Mauriceville and McLewis areas involves a nearly 104-mile-long power line that serves more than 2,300 customers. It includes areas in and around Highway 62, Wynne Road, Highway 12 and FM 1442. The power line is energized by the McLewis Substation in the 6800 block of Highway 62 North. Work began last summer and is expected to be completed by early May.
In Vidor, work began early this year on a 45-mile-long power line that serves nearly 1,600 customers in the Pleasant Drive, Party Lane and Grand Street areas. The power line is energized by the Vidor Substation in the 1500 block of North Main. Work is expected to be completed by the end of April.
Drivers in these areas are urged to be alert for the workers and use caution when nearing work areas.
“Our goal is to keep the lights on for our customers. To do that, we have to have an aggressive vegetation management program,” Trahan said. “We keep a schedule for all of our power lines to ensure that limbs and other vegetation are kept away from the lines. When we conduct this cycle trimming, we also remove danger trees that may be outside our right of way, but that are in poor condition and close enough to fall into the lines.”
Last year, Entergy Texas workers trimmed more than 2,100 line miles of trees and removed 25,870 danger trees from throughout Southeast Texas. A danger tree is any tree with a structural defect, such as being dead or dying, decayed or leaning. Any of these circumstances could cause the tree to fall into overhead power lines.
Customers are also reminded to think ahead when planting trees on their property. Trees planted in the vicinity of power lines should not grow to heights that could threaten lines. The Arbor Day Foundation provides a guide to help determine the right tree for the right place at http://www.arborday.org/trees/rightTreeAndPlace/.