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O&R Tree Trimming and Hazardous Tree Removal Programs are in Full Swing Preparing for Hurricane Season that Starts Today

Orange & Rockland (O&R) professional contractors are pruning limbs and removing dead, dying and diseased ‘hazardous’ trees close to its overhead power lines and equipment to help reduce storm-related damage that can knock out power to customers.

This tree-trimming and removal work, and additional electric system storm hardening efforts, are part of a year-round program designed to keep O&R’s electric service reliable by keeping its electric system resilient.

See the tree-trimming program in action in this video:

At no time of the year is that tree-trimming and removal work more appreciated than the beginning of the Atlantic Hurricane Season which starts today and runs through November 30.

O&R’s Vice President – Operations Orville Cocking said, “Removing hazardous trees before they fall on power lines helps protect homeowners, the public, first responders and O&R crews – whether it’s in a hurricane, a hard summer downpour or a Christmas Eve snowstorm.”

He added, “With a significant number of storm-related outages caused by downed trees and limbs, tree-trimming and hazardous tree removal are some of the most important parts of hardening the grid.”

With about 4,000 miles of overhead distribution wires in O&R’s 1,350 square mile service area, tree trimming is an integral and ongoing effort for maintaining safe distances between overhead equipment and trees, branches, and limbs to help reduce storm-related outages.

In addition to the tree-trimming program, O&R is helping homeowners and municipalities identify and remove hazardous trees located near power lines or other O&R equipment. Since O&R’s Hazardous Tree Program was created in September 2018, crews have removed, free-of-charge, over 3,750 hazardous trees with the permission of a homeowner or a municipality.

The tree trimming and hazardous tree removal programs are among the many resiliency projects O&R has undertaken to improve safety, reduce storm-related outages and cut the time it takes to repair damage caused by extreme weather events. O&R performs storm hardening work year-round including undergrounding key strategic overhead line locations, installing miles of cables, and thousands of poles and switches.

To provide greater electric system reliability, O&R also continues to further automate its electric system through smart grid technological improvements. The smart grid integrates state-of-the-art equipment and technology with advances in computer analysis, communications, monitoring and control to significantly enhance system reliability, efficiency, and overall quality of service.

For example, “smart” operating equipment – communication systems, automated switches, sensors, and other “intelligent” devices – enables the electric system to detect where issues on the circuit exist and automatically isolate those issues. This isolated section of the circuit would remain out of service until repairs are made, but the remainder of the circuit --- often serving hundreds of other customers – would remain energized, providing uninterrupted service to those customers.

O&R also continues to improve storm response with more efficient communication with customers, via texts, emails, and social media. 

About Orange & Rockland

Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R), a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, is a regulated utility. O&R provides electric service to approximately 300,000 customers in southeastern New York State (where its franchise name is Orange & Rockland) and northern New Jersey (where it’s Rockland Electric Company) and natural gas service to approximately 130,000 customers in New York.