Over the last several months local residents may have noticed the presence of a hovering helicopter in the area at different times.
It is part of Blue Ridge Energy power line right of way clearing operations. Renee Whitener, Director of Public Relations with Blue Ridge Energy, tells WataugaOnline.com, “We are incorporating this method as an effective, efficient way for right of way trimming. It’s been used in Alleghany County and parts of Ashe and members were very pleased, from comments they shared with us – I even had one member send me photos.”
It’s a lot less impact on members property Whitener goes on to say. “There is a ground ‘spotter’ in communication with the trained, professional pilot of the firm we contract with. It’s a method that’s been in use for many years across the country.”
She says that lack of manpower is also playing a role in using the aerial approach. “We are also seeing a shortage of traditional right of way workers that is beginning to impact the availability to us and others in keeping right of way trimmed and maintained to ensure good reliability for the protection of power lines and poles as well as a safe working environment for the linemen”, Whitener added.
More information about the procedure is available from Blue Ridge Energy at this link.