Kudos to Central Maine Power’s line crews for the valiant work they performed during this latest snowstorm under severe weather conditions.

But let’s talk about the inadequate tree trimming program that CMP has had in place for years. Thousands of trees rise 20, 30 and 40 feet above power lines, and diseased and rotten trees are left in place rather than removed. A few snips here and there and that’s about it all along roadways, just enough to get the branches off wires.

Where is the effort to cut back from roadways and lop off entire tops of trees that pose a real and present threat to the lines?

It seems as if CMP is willing to let severe storms do its trimming for it, because everyone knows that birches have weak trunks; poplars have shallow roots; and pines keep their needles all year round. When laden with snow or ice, pine branches snap and whole trees readily bend or uproot themselves onto power lines, to say nothing of rotten trees that just break.

Between the Dec. 18 snowstorm last year and this one last week, my neighbors and I on Johnson Hill Road were without power for nearly eight days, four in December and 3.75 days this time. Many of my neighbors, including myself, are retired and elderly, some infirm.

As ratepayers, we all should be aroused by CMP’s lack of initiative here, with a message to the Public Utilities Commission not to give rate increases without a verifiable, thorough tree-trimming program in place.

Mark Wood, Poland

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