How much time does it take to maintain 1,918 miles of distribution line spread over 555 square miles in rural Oregon? It’s a full-time job, and Emerald People’s Utility District crews are busy every day making sure it gets done.

How much time does it take to maintain 1,918 miles of distribution line spread over 555 square miles in rural Oregon? It’s a full-time job, and Emerald People’s Utility District crews are busy every day making sure it gets done. Monday through Friday and sometimes into the weekend, EPUD tree-trimming and brush-clearing crews work throughout the large district to clear lines, trim dangerous limbs and high-growing brush, and fell leaning trees. All this work is necessary to not only ensure electric service, but also to prevent potential safety hazards. EPUD crews are especially busy now, leading into the upcoming storm season.

“This work is vital to our ability to serve our customers safely,” says EPUD Operations Supervisor Ron Dubbs. “If we miss a dangerous tree or limb and it blows into a line during a storm, power goes out and anyone in the area is faced with a possible safety hazard. By proactively clearing the lines, we can prevent this type of situation from occurring.”

Even with tree crews and equipment operators in the field every day, outages still occur. EPUD has experienced two outages in the last week caused by trees in the lines. Both outages affected fewer than 700 customers and lasted less than 2 hours.

“Tree interference is the number-one cause of outages due to our rural district,” says Dubbs. “But it would be MUCH worse if our crews weren’t out there every day, getting rid of the big dangers.”

EPUD prides itself on creating both electric safety and environmental sustainability by only clearing trees that must be cleared for safety sake. When possible, tree and brush crews will limb trees, instead of cutting them down entirely.

What can you do? EPUD Customers-Owners who see line interference from trees and/or brush are encouraged to call EPUD directly at 541-746-1583 to report the location.

DID YOU KNOW? EPUD’s 555- square-mile district is nearly twice the size of the more compact urban electric companies like EWEB and SUB.