Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative (OTEC) is asking its member-owners to be on the lookout for any trees or branches hanging or leaning too close to power lines and to call the cooperative if you see one. Trees that grow too close to power lines can cause outages or create other hazardous conditions.
“Although most trees do not present a problem, some of them grow into or crowd power lines or other utility equipment,” said Maaike Schotborgh, OTEC’s Safety and Loss Control Manager. “When greenery becomes too close for comfort, we have to address it because overgrowth can interfere with power distribution and create a hazard for those on the ground.”
Tree branches that come in contact with power lines create a hazard and interfere with electrical service. For example, the lights in your house may flicker when tree branches brush power lines during high winds. Stormy weather can also cause limbs to break off and land on lines.
OTEC works year-round to trim or remove tree branches, and in some cases, remove trees. OTEC’s tree-trimming program is a key aspect of the cooperative’s priority of delivering electrical service safely and reliably to its member-owners.
If you, as an OTEC member, see a tree or limb near a power line, call OTEC immediately at 541-523-3616 and the cooperative will come out and fix the problem.
OTEC also wants to stress to everyone to never try and trim branches or limbs by themselves. Only certified utility line clearance workers are allowed to work on trees or branches within 10 feet of a power line. If you see a tree or a limb leaning on a line or getting too close, do not take the potentially fatal risk of trying to remove it yourself. Make sure to call OTEC at 541-523-3616.
Here's some tips to help keep you and your family safe:
- If an object is caught in a tree, such as a kite, stay clear of lines when removing it.
- When using a ladder, always look up and make sure you stay at least 10 feet away from power lines.
- Stay at least 50 feet away from any down power lines, make sure everyone in the area stays away and call 911.