Fallen trees and branches are a major cause of widespread power outages after a natural disaster. Randolph EMC's lines, poles and substation structures are engineered to withstand many forces of nature, but still have the potential to fall victim to the force of a fallen tree or large branch.
An aggressive tree-trimming and right-of-way maintenance program for power lines is crucial to the cooperative's mission of delivering reliable electric power to members. However, even with a first rate right-of-way maintenance program, major storms often cause trees outside the right of way to make contact with the lines and cause outages.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) issues regulations and bulletins that require electric cooperatives to have an effective tree-trimming and right-of-way clearing program in place. This program must include a regular rotation schedule determined by vegetation growth patterns and service area terrain. Maintenance and clearing may be achieved by using trimming equipment or chemical spraying techniques. Regular inspections of poles and other equipment may also be performed as a part of REMC's right-of-way maintenance program.
In addition to using their own employees for right-of-way maintenance, many cooperatives employ contractors and tree-trimming specialists. The locations where right-of-way maintenance crews will be working are listed below. Randolph EMC will also periodically publish these locations in the Watts Working newsletter section of Carolina Country magazine. If, at any time, you observe trees growing into power lines that may be dangerous, let the cooperative know immediately.
Trees add beauty and color to your property. But, depending on where they’re planted, they could pose a hazard to power lines. Randolph EMC has a rigorous right-of-way maintenance program to keep tree limbs from growing too close to primary lines. If you find that the cooperative is frequently having to trim trees on your property, consider participating in Randolph EMC’s Trade-A-Tree program.
Actually, any REMC member can participate in the program—whether the co‐op has visited your property to trim trees or not. Just check your property for trees growing into primary power lines. Keep in mind, primary power lines are those lines that serve more than just your home. The electric line from the pole to your house is NOT a primary power line.
If you have a problem tree in a secondary line (like the line leading to your house), give us a call so we can send a crew to trim the tree. If the tree needs to be removed, REMC will disconnect the secondary line to allow you to have the tree cut down by a tree service. After you have determined you may have an eligible tree in a primary line, contact any customer service representative by phone to schedule a time for a REMC representative to check the tree. If the representative determines the tree will cause problems, we will remove the tree and “trade” you for a new tree.
We will work with you to select a different type of tree at a reasonable cost and a suitable location for it. Once you’ve purchased and planted the tree, a REMC representative will inspect the placement on your property. If everything is in order, simply provide us a receipt and we will reimburse you for the cost of the tree or shrub and a reasonable rate of labor for planting it.