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NEW YORK – Con Edison crews and contractors are completing a near-record season of tree trimming and tree removal in preparation for the seventh straight busy Atlantic hurricane season.
This spring, crews have removed hundreds of dead, dying or diseased trees located close to overhead power lines in New York City and Westchester County at no charge and with the owners’ permission to help prevent electric outages. Crews also prune trees to make them less of a threat to strike power lines.
“Most outages that happen during storms are caused by trees and limbs that fall onto power lines, and that makes tree maintenance a vital tool toward being prepared,” said Patrick McHugh, Con Edison’s senior vice president, Electric Operations. “Tree management protects homeowners, the public, first responders and Con Edison crews.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, forecasts another above- average hurricane season, starting June 1. The agency predicts 14 to 21 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes, and three to six major storms (Category 3 or above).
The 2021 season, NOAA’s third busiest on record, included Hurricane Ida, which caused $75 billion in damage, 96 deaths from Louisiana to Connecticut, and catastrophic flooding in and around New York City.
Since Con Edison began its hazardous tree removal program in 2018, crews have removed more than 4,000 trees and pruned thousands of others along roadways in Westchester and New York City.
Watch a video on how tree trimming works in Westchester.
And while Con Edison performs its storm-hardening work year-round, spring is the most important time for preventive maintenance ahead of harsh summer storms.
In addition, the company has adopted one of the most forward-looking approaches to system resiliency in the power industry with its Clean Energy Commitment.
The Con Edison service territory includes about 37,000 miles of overhead distribution wires and 198,000 poles. Certified arborists have inspected more than 5,500 trees and identified more than 4,000 of them as imminent hazards.
The company’s year-round storm hardening work includes installing miles of cable, and other equipment, including poles and switches. The company also continues to improve storm response with more efficient communication with customers, via texts, emails and social media. A mobile app to report storm damage helps enhance site safety and reduce outage time.
Con Edison’s Climate Change Vulnerability Study provides an improved understanding of projected climate changes across the New York area — including increasing temperatures, heavier precipitation events, sea-level rise, and extreme weather — to identify system vulnerabilities, prioritize investments, and strengthen infrastructure. The company’s Climate Change Implementation Plan, is putting those findings into action.
Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED], one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $14 billion in annual revenues and $64 billion in assets. The utility delivers electricity, natural gas and steam, and serves 3.5 million customers in New York City and Westchester County. Through Consolidated Edison Inc.’s subsidiary, Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses, the company is the second-largest solar developer in the United States. For financial, operations and customer service information, visit conEd.com. For energy efficiency information, visit coned.com/energyefficiency. Also, visit us on Twitter and Facebook.