So I emailed my elected County Executive last week about burying the wires. I was amazed to receive a response from someone on his staff almost immediately. While the response was probably canned, i.e., it was not written specifically or originally for me, it was at least on point.
Here's the gist:
The State's Public Service Commission (PSC) regulates and oversees public utilities. The PSC requires our electric utilities to identify areas that experience frequent outages and develop a strategy to address the causes of the outages.
Following the huge amount of damage its system suffered during Tropical Storm Isabel (2003), the power company here undertook an aggressive, multi-year tree pruning program to protect its infrastructure.
The company has committed to addressing the two percent poorest performing feeders in its system, as required by the State. It also agreed to address the 50 next-poorest-performing feeders in each jurisdiction it serves. It will be able to tell you if your neighborhood's feeder has been identified for this extra attention.
Please contact the PSC and/or the power company directly.
Here's what I sent back:
Scott - Thank you for your timely response to my message. I encourage the County to press the PSC to underground the wires in the County. We may have less tolerance for unreliable electric power and more tolerance for less affordable power than other jurisdictions in the State.