As we quickly approach the one-year anniversary since Tropical Storm Isaias left roughly 750,000 Connecticut residents without power for days and in some cases weeks, important tree trimming work is being done in the town of Andover.
The historic tropical storm left Andover without power for nearly a week, with 14 streets closed in its wake.
“As of last year, we had roughly 1,200 dead trees in our towns right of way,” said Eric Anderson, a town administrator in Andover.
Anderson says most of the trees that need to be removed have fallen victim to emerald ash borers and gypsy moths, but oak trees also took a hit because of the drought last summer.
“A big part of what tree trimming is on our part is just safety of residents,” Anderson said. "And then also reliability so they can get out of their houses, they can go to work, we can get emergency response to them when needed.”
To remove the number of trees that Andover has on their plate, they’ve needed to reassess their approach.
"What we needed to do was change focus from what we did in the past -- which was use bucket crews and go after individual worst trees -- to start working in neighborhoods and entire roads where we would go in and say 'okay in this 1-mile stretch we have 75 trees we need to remove,'” Anderson said.
With some of the trees falling in Eversource’s territory, the energy company and the town put their heads, resources, and budgets together to get the work done and cover the cost.
“We were able to collaborate and remove a lot of trees in a short amount of time,” said Bear Levangie, an arborist working in Tolland County for Eversource. “Working with a company that has specialized equipment to get trees down faster than a stem by stem basis.”
And in beautiful, but heavily forested areas like Andover, Jay Tuttle, the local Tree Warden says it’s all about public safety.
“We’re able to capitalize and get the most work done keeping public safety in mind for us and them as well,” Tuttle said.
The summer months are the easiest time for crews to get work done because traffic is generally lighter and there aren’t nearly as many school buses out and about.