On July 4, power was restored to the last few Dayton Power & Light customers affected by the June 29 storm, but the cause of many of the outages remains. The company reports that a significant amount of the power disruption after the June 29 violent storm was caused by diseased, dying and dead trees.

In particular, there are an increasing number of dead and dying ash trees throughout the Miami Valley that threaten to damage power lines when they fall. Besides the inconvenience to customers caused by these trees falling on power lines and causing preventable outages, there is also the potential for injury or death to customers in the vicinity of a fallen line.

The primary danger is posed by ash trees that have been infected by the Emerald Ash Borer. The ash tree-killing insects have spread to 63 Ohio counties since first being identified in 2003 in Ohio. The DP&L service area covers 24 counties. The infestation threatens 3.8 billion ash trees in the state.

Ash trees damaged by the insects become unstable and may fall at any time, posing a danger to people, property and power lines. The trees can grow to be 60 feet tall and even if they are 10 feet away from power lines, as required, they can fall on a line and take out power to customers.

While there may be an expense for property owners to remove the damaged trees, the potential for injuries, death and damage to property is far worse. DP&L is encouraging property owners to do their part to protect family and neighbors from injury and to help keep the power supply from being interrupted: remove dead and dying trees and dispose of the debris properly.

Because the Ash Borer has been found throughout most of Ohio, there are no longer quarantine regulations in place within the state. But it is still recommended that Ohioans exercise caution when moving firewood. Additional information about the Emerald Ash Borer can be found at the Ohio Department of Agriculture website.

DP&L trims tree limbs in its “right of way” year-round to prevent power outages. There is an easement around power lines where the company has the right of way to clear vegetation and trim trees. Tree trimming improves the reliability of the electrical system, especially during storms that bring high winds and ice.

Since 2008 DP&L has trimmed along 10,000 miles of its power lines.