Charleston planning more underground power lines

VIDEO: Charleston planning more underground power lines

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The city of Charleston is working to jump-start is plan to install more underground power lines which city leaders say will help honor the historic and visual appeal of neighborhoods and homes and protect lines during big storms.

Charleston City Councilman Ross Appel, who is part of the Undergrounding Advisory Committee, said the city was making good progress on getting lines underground before the coronavirus pandemic.

The committee, which includes a representative of Dominion Energy, plans to meet Tuesday to look at the legal and financial aspects of underground power lines across the city. Appel says the long-term goal is to get as many lines as possible underground. They say the best way to preserve these trees and protect neighborhoods and homes during storms, is to move power lines underground.

Tuesday’s meeting will focus on discussing the need for better funding and legal processes, multi-jurisdictional coordination and better community engagement.

There is currently a waiting list for neighborhoods. The committee will also discuss the option to halt the trimming of trees of neighborhoods on that waiting list.

He says some neighborhoods that want their power lines to be moved underground, like Riverland Terrace on James Island, have expressed concerns because parts of this neighborhood is in the City of Charleston, and other is in unincorporated Charleston County. That’s why council will be discussing multi-jurisdictional coordination.

If you have concerns about Grand Oak trees being trimmed because of power lines, or worries with power lines during storms, you are able to submit public comment on this and join today's Zoom meeting at 9 a.m.

Click here to leave a public comment ahead of Tuesday’s meeting.

Click here to join the meeting at 9 a.m.

The committee says some areas of Charleston, like Daniel Island, have seen much more improvement with underground lines than others. But they say there are needs for undergrounding from Meeting Street and King Street downtown, all the way through West Ashley and James Island.

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