WVDOT | I-64 tree clearing goes off ‘without a hitch’

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 1:57 PM EST
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A plan to use a helicopter to cut trees out of power lines over Interstate 64 near Kenova Monday morning went so well, West Virginia Division of Highways says some people didn’t even notice it happened.

Last week’s ice storm dropped trees into power lines along I-64, creating the potential for the power lines to collapse. Monday morning, crews with American Electric Power used a helicopter with an aerial saw to cut the tree out of the lines at approximately 10 a.m.

Scott Eplin, District Engineer for WVDOH District 2, said that, ultimately, road closures weren’t necessary.

“They cut it and it went like clockwork,” Eplin said.

AEP officials weren’t sure how the high-tension power lines might react once the weight of the tree was removed, so they coordinated with WVDOH to ensure maximum safety for travelers on the interstate.

“A lot of what we did was precautionary in case things went afoul,” Eplin said. “We planned for the worst-case scenario.”

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