Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Impact of Clear Cut Along Catskill Aqueduct Felt During Recent Storms

from the Sprainbrook Nursery e-newsletter:

Pounded by another terrible storm, Westchester properties took a severe beating. I am sure we all have horror stories to tell. A severe ice storm followed by another terrible storm of heavy rains and brutal winds caused damage the like of which I have not seen in my many years dealing with horticultural problems.

Like everyone else, the storm was not kind to us at Sprainbrook. The huge number of trees taken down on the Aqueduct dealt a severe blow to all of us who bordered the Aqueduct property. The trees were taken down and we were heartbroken but the damage did not end there. This past storm caused erosion and filled our streams with extra water. A huge tree that stood in the middle of a forest now stood by itself at the edge of our property. Without other trees to soften the gusts of wind, this huge tree was blown down crushing two of our greenhouses. It uprooted and took out our water supply with it.

Trees that grow up on a perimeter area and are exposed to rugged conditions from the start grow up strong and are able to stand up to difficult situations. This is nature’s way. The winds cause trees to sway and the roots compensate by digging deeper into the ground for added support. A tree in the middle of a forest has other trees cushioning the force of the wind. It is not as tough as that tree growing up on the perimeter.

On our property across the street a similar situation took place with the tree taking out a power line, crashing into two parked cars and causing a fire in the attic. We got hit hard as most of Westchester did. This was the tragic scene played throughout our area.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The transcript from NYSPSC's March 4, 2010 Special Session meeting was recently posted on its website at http://www.dps.state.ny.us/webcast_sessions.htm [scroll to Mar. 4]. There were several comments related to vegetation management, pasted below. There was also general discussion about utility response to the snow storm, and interested persons may want to review the transcript further. NYSPSC has its next meeting in NYC on March 25, which will also be webcast, and perhaps the recent weekend storm will be discussed (agenda still to be posted).

COMMISSIONER ACAMPORA: I think we have really hit on the tree trimming the past few years. So, I think to some extent some of that has worked, but I do thank everybody for those ongoing reports, keeping us apprised of what was going on and seeing how they could deal with the loss of electricity.

And I am glad to hear that the consumers did have that information because people do have to make decisions when they know they are going to be without electricity for several days, and it's still quite cold out and maybe another storm might be coming.
Thank you, all.

NYSPSC Commissioner Patricia Acampora; March 4 Transcript, p. 21-22.

I do just want to take the opportunity to echo a little bit, one of the -- probably the least popular things the Public Service Commission and Utilities do is vegetation management. It's very frustrating to people because people do not like to see tree limbs come down when they don't need to, except when there's a storm, and they realize almost all of the damage on the distribution system tend to be these tree contact.

And the fact that the transmission system had no damage to it at least signals some of the success, because if those lines go down now we are talking the backbone of the system and it's a much bigger problem. So, it does emphasize the importance of our vegetation management program.

NYSPSC Chairman Garry A. Brown; March 4 Transcript, p. 25-26.