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Oklahoma, the rapid change from harsh, cold air to warmer temperatures can trigger severe weather. To protect electric lines and keep power flowing safely to your home, Choctaw Electric Cooperative (CEC) engages in ongoing and systematic maintenance of co-op rights-of-way. Think of it as spring cleaning for power lines.


Right-of-way maintenance keeps tree limbs and other obstacles away from high-voltage power lines. It’s an important part of the service CEC provides to you and other co-op members for three reasons: safety, reliability, and cost.


“Our primary concern is the safety of our workers and members,” says Guy Dale, CEC director of safety. “Properly maintained right-of-way keeps our crews safe when they’re restoring service and maintaining our system. It also keeps our members safe. From making sure a child’s tree house doesn’t hit power lines to creating a safe environment while our members do yard work, a clear right-of-way helps avoid tragedy.”


These days, power lines are a constant part of our modern landscape. Even in the most isolated parts of southeast Oklahoma, it’s easy to forget they are around. CEC owns and maintains nearly 4,000 miles of line stretching across Choctaw, Pushmataha and McCurtain counties, and parts of Atoka and Leflore counties.


Jim Malone CEC director of engineering and operations, says keeping lines clear is a never-ending process that requires constant attention. “We work hard and spend a lot of money to keep the area around our lines clear, but we need our member’s help, too,” Malone said. He explained that members should be careful


8 | march 2014 Boswell


BETWEEN THE LINES S


pring gives us a chance to thaw out after a chilly winter, but the seasonal shift isn’t all good news. In


Spring cleaning your co-op right of way keeps power flowing


not to plant trees or shrubs beneath power lines, and be cautious of power lines when working in their yards.


When severe spring weather blows through, a well-maintained right-of-way can contribute to fewer outages and faster response times. “In a clean right-of-way trees are less of a threat, but even a clean 20 foot right-of-way won’t stop a 40 foot tree growing outside that area from falling into the line,” Malone said. “When trees do fall, our crews are able to restore service more quickly than they could in poorly maintained areas.”


When Winter Storm Cleon dumped nearly 2 inches of ice on CEC service territory


Top: Right of way maintenance provides an unexpected wildlife benefit by opening up densely wooded areas and encouraging greater plant diversity.


Right: Co-op right of way divides cuts a clear path through the mountains inside Beaver’s Bend State Park.


2014 Right of Way Maintenance Map


Spray Areas Trim Areas


Choctaw Electric right of contractors will spray and trim co-op right of way in the areas indicated below in 2014. Crews may need to cross your property to access right of way. Your cooperation will help them complete the job as quickly as possible. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Choctaw Electric at 800-780-6486.


Smithville Antlers


Hugo Broken Bow Idabel


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