By Chris Cannon
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nashville Electric Service crews were busy Monday restoring power to several areas after an ice storm hit the region.
At the height of the storm overnight, 6,000 NES customers were without power. That number was much lower than many people thought it would be.
"Thankfully it was not as bad as anticipated," said NES spokeswoman Laurie Parker.
Most of the utility's outages were in less populated areas of Davidson County, and portions of the six surrounding counties NES services.
"We can't prevent all tree related outages, a lot of times an entire tree comes down, or really large limbs come into the lines," Parker explained.
Over the last 12 years NES has reduced the number of power disruptions customers experience by 20% because of an aggressive tree trimming program.
"It prevent limbs from knocking into lines, which can cause an outage, or falling onto the lines, which would cause an outage during a storm situation," Parker said.
NES crews perform overhead removal of trees located near power lines, "V" pruning when the lines run through a tree, and side pruning when branches adjacent to the power lines need to be removed.
Every four years the NES tree trimming crews service the entire 700 square miles where the utility provides service.
"They'll cover the entire service area over that period, so customers should only see tree trimmers every four years," according to Parker.
When a trimming crew comes through an area, they removed the debris left behind. But during an emergency situation, like a winter storm, the crews will not remove fallen trees.