Mt. Pleasant considering more underground power lines following Hurricane Dorian

VIDEO: Mt Pleasant considering more underground power lines following Hurricane Dorian

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - After thousands lost power during Hurricane Dorian, the town of Mount Pleasant is considering putting all power lines underground.

Mayor Will Haynie says he is hoping to press the power companies for an explanation to all the power outages that happened during the hurricane.

He says they were able to get the power back quickly considering the amount of people that lost power, but he still has some questions.

“One question that residents have is if the tree trimmings were so severe then why did we end up with all the outages?” Haynie said. “We want to look at that and we also want to look at if there’s a future for getting power lines underground on Mount Pleasant where they’re not currently underground.”

Historically, the town has been one of the most successful in working with Dominion Energy to put power lines underground.

Due to all the growth, many new developments in the town have lines underground.

Haynie says he is hoping to talk to other mayors of nearby municipalities about their experiences during the hurricane and how long they were out of power for.

He says this isn’t about playing a “blame game” with the power companies, but he says he wants to work together with them about what they can do better next time.

“We’re not sounding the alarm that there was some mass malfeasance by anybody, we look at everything after a storm,” Haynie said. “ I think the cause of power outages and the restoration of power should be part of the evaluation of everything we look at in our storm prep and our storm recovery.”

Pamela Brooks lives in Mount Pleasant and says she supports a decision to put power lines underground.

Not only does she believe it would help some power outage problems, but ultimately, she feels like this would be the best decision for the oak trees in her neighborhood.

“I think long term I mean aesthetically that’s the only way we’re going to protect these trees,” Brooks said.

Haynie hopes to put the discussion surrounding power lines on a committee agenda, during their next meeting on Sept. 30.

Paul Fischer, a spokesperson for Dominion Energy, said that tree and tree limbs were the number one reason for damage to their system during the storm.

As for an answer to the tree trimmings, Fischer said the tree trimmings are done on a routine, five-year cycle to help them maintain a safe and reliable system.

“While every storm is different, and impacts can vary from location to location, tree trimming can reduce the severity and duration of outages in a storm significant wind event,” Fischer said.

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