ROCHESTER, Minn. - With warm weather finally on its way, now is the time to check the trees in your yard to make sure they aren't touching any power lines.
While trees are still empty, you can easily see if power lines are going through the middle or touching any of the branches. This is important to take care of because if a storm comes and knocks the tree down, power could be out for days or even worse, it could catch on fire. Tony Benson with Rochester Public Utilities said they respond to power outages caused by trees a lot during the warmer months. "When we talk about power outages, some of the biggest factors for outages are squirrels, animals, birds. But also trees, tree limbs, branches," he explained. "Whether it be a tree limb coming in contact with an overhead line and causing a fuse to blow essentially or a whole tree limb coming down on a line."
Benson said his team is already out inspecting power lines now. "No one likes power outages. But if we can be proactive this time of year with the help from customers, we can kind of address those issues before the trees are all filled in and they're tougher to get to and hopefully prevent outages from happening later on in the spring and summer," explained Benson.
The most important thing you should know is if you do see a tree branch touching a power line, do not try and remove it yourself. That's what electrical companies are for and just so you know, you can call RPU and they will cut down the tree or a branch for free.