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Sam Houston EC Takes Down 100,000 Dead Trees

Sam Houston EC Takes Down 100,000 Dead Trees

Though recent rains have brought green grass back to East Texas, last year’s severe drought left a few constant reminders that will be with us for quite some time. Hundreds of dead trees have fallen on electric lines, causing power outages, and thousands more are threatening to fall.

“Since October of last year, Sam Houston Electric Cooperative crews have taken down more than 100,000 dead and danger trees along power line rights-of-way,” Kyle Kuntz, the Cooperative’s CEO, said. “We are working 10-hour days to stay ahead of summer thunderstorms that are knocking these dead trees down like dominoes.”

Tree crews are in a full-out sprint to cut down the dead trees before the next round of thunderstorms.

“The safety of our members and our crews is our number one priority,” Kuntz said. “We’re more than 90 percent through our 6,000-mile distribution system. However, we are finding that we must retrace our steps in order to cut down hardwood trees that have died since the project’s beginning phases.”

After being cut down, dead trees are moved so that they do not block roads, driveways or ditches. However, it is up to the landowner to dispose of the dead trees after they are cut down.

In a typical year, Sam Houston EC must take down 17,000 dead and danger trees along its 6,000 miles of electric distribution lines.

Since stepping up the established maintenance program last October, the Cooperative has cut down more than five times that amount.

Kuntz expects the Cooperative’s dead tree project will run well into the latter part of the year.