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CVPS, VELCO, Rutland continue storm work

RUTLAND In cooperation with the City of Rutland, Central Vermont Public Service and Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO) last week completed a citywide inventory of trees damaged during the April Noreaster storm, and also began removing limbs and trees that threaten more power outages. The companies have also provided Rutland City Forester Dave Schneider with an inventory of trees within the city's right-of-way that don't threaten power lines but were compromised by the storm and may need reparative work to save them. "Six CVPS foresters and three from VELCO went street by street to examine every tree in the rights-of-way and identify trees compromised by the storm," CVPS Forestry Supervisor Duane Dickinson said. "Eight tree crews will take down the most seriously damaged trees , and remove broken branches from others that weren't seriously compromised." Among those to be removed are trees partially uprooted by the storm, now leaning toward utility lines, or heavily damaged. VELCO Forester Jeff Disorda said the utilities found several hundred damaged trees that were still standing. "There are at least a couple of hundred trees that have broken limbs hung up in the crowns or that will need to be removed entirely," Disorda said. "The goal is to get that done safely without further service interruptions." The work will likely take more than a week, with eight tree crews from Trees Inc., Vaillancourt Tree Service, Asplundh Tree Expert Company, and Davey Tree Expert Company participating. CVPS will donate a dozen new trees to the city for planting in city parks in thanks for the tremendous cooperation and assistance provided by Mayor Chris Louras and the Department of Public Works, Police Department and Fire Department. "In 77 years, we've never worked so closely with a municipality," CVPS spokesman Steve Costello said. "We enjoy solid relationships with towns throughout our territory, but the City of Rutland went to extraordinary lengths to help us restore normalcy last week, and it paid big dividends in speeding the recovery effort." VELCO lead the Pine Hill Park clean-up. Mike Smith, a park representative, is working with Disorda to orchestrate the removal of damaged trees blocking the trails, which forced the park to be closed. Many trees are hung up in other trees, which creates multiple safety hazards and requires technical expertise to fell them. VELCO will utilize a contractor, Trees Inc., and their ROW management staff for the work. Once danger trees have been removed, volunteers from VELCO will go in to help remove branches from the park paths.

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