Check branches before ice storm arrives

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) — With snow, sleet and ice on tap for much Virginia — and the East Coast — power outages from downed trees and branches are likely.

Dominion Virginia Power, whose crews will likely be dealing with outages, are advising customers to stay away from downed wires.

“Do not touch it. Stay away from down lines and call us as soon as possible,” Dominion Virginia Power’s David Botkins said.

Botkins pointed said the amount of ice will determine the number of people in the dark.

“If we were to get over a quarter of an inch to the half-inch range, we would see widespread outages. Largely, as a result of tree limbs falling because that additional weight is going to bring a tree limb down,” Botkins said.

That’s why experts are urging Central Virginians to examine trees near their homes and vehicles before the storm hits.

“Look for branches that are overhanging on your house or some vulnerable structure,” Chesterfield County Cooperative Extension Director Michael Likins said.

Additionally, Likins pointed out that Oak and Maple trees often cannot handle the ice.

“Branches that come out almost right angles are very strong. Those that come very narrow what we call the ‘v-crouch.’ Those are very unstable,” Likins said.

Those branches can be very unstable, so they should be cut down. Experts advise folks to use a licensed tree trimmer for the job.

“Just pruning a branch can do a lot of long-term damage to a tree, if it’s not done correctly,” Likins said. “It sets the stage for decay that will show up 10 [to] 15 years later.”

When that happens, those beautiful trees could come crashing down and destroy your home.

If a tree is on city or county property, and it falls in your yard or on your home, call that locality and crews will come out to remove it. However, if a tree is on your property, it is your responsibility to remove it.

Click here for Chesterfield County’s list of certified tree trimmers.

5 comments

  • Bobby R.

    Deeply disappointed at the level of writing skills and the absolute and utter lack of any proof reading in this article. I believe the attributed authors are much better than this article demonstrates and am at a loss to explain the obvious errors. Come on you guys can ( and should be and do better than this article shows ). Best regards. //HMC-FMF, USN- ret//

  • toni

    you know what dominion,every year its the same bull story from you.How about you put some of those profits into your 30-50 year old equipment,trim your own trees away from lines and first stop giving advise.If the power goes out ,get your rear end out and fix it.You act like being a monopoly is to our advantage.I asked dominion to replace a faulty 30 year old transformer out front 4 years ago and the guy came out and put electrical tape on it,yea i watched him.youre a joke and the media is the only people buying your line of junk.profits all profits.when it does go out you will pay as few the 40.00 an hour to go fix it with their 20 year old trucks as you can then claim you brought in people from another area to help.heard it before,so save it

  • Cruzn1999

    “Dominion Virginia Power, whose crews will likely be dealing with outages, are advising customers to never stay away from downed wires.”

    I dont think Dominion Power advised customers to NEVER stay away from downed lines. May want to proofread articles before posting folks

  • Eric

    Not to mention: “Botkins pointed said…?”

    I think it’s a symptom of trying to be the first one to get the story out.

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