MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – On Thursday, Memphis Light Gas and Water (MLGW) announced that three newly contracted tree trimming firms will commence work on Monday, August 28, consistent with the utility’s electric reliability improvement plan.
These crews will begin the work of clearing vegetation away from power lines.
Collectively, the firms of ABC Professional Tree Services, Lewis Tree Service, Inc. and Kendall Vegetation Services will have more than 90 crews and several hundred individuals engaged in this work going forward. According to MLGW, this adds to the existing 37 crews.
For efficiency, each firm will be assigned approximately 1/3 of the MLGW service area, and they will begin their work in the areas where the tree canopy intersects most with overhead powerlines.
On August 10, President and CEO Doug McGowen told city leaders about 60% of outages are caused by trees.
MLGW had a goal of trimming 7,000 miles of trees by 2025. As of July, crews have trimmed 1,755 miles. Memphis has over 4,500 miles of overhead lines near those trees.
“In the last 10 years, we should have cut 14,000 miles, we actually cut 8,200,” said McGowen in a monthly update to Memphis City Council on MLGW’s five-year plan. “That’s only about 50% complete. So we are behind. That’s about a five-year delta from where we should be.”
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