OPPD wants to ‘dispel the myth’ that it doesn’t bury power lines

As the Omaha Public Power District works to finalize power to the final few thousand still waiting for electricity from Saturday’s record storm, the utility is defending its pre-storm strategies to upgrade OPPD’s power grid.

“I want to dispel the myth that we don’t bury power lines,” says OPPD President Javier Fernandez adding, “We continue to add more of those (buried) lines on new construction and on existing construction.”

Fernandez was responding to a question from a reporter during one of several news conferences this week, updating the media and the public on power restoration in the area.

Many of those without electricity for more than a day or two are in older, denser parts of Omaha where power lines are above ground and are susceptible to falling trees and broken branches.

The newly named president and CEO did not go into detail as to which neighborhoods without buried lines can expect updates in the future.

Fernandez did make these additional comments:

---“We’ve been burying (lines) in parts of the territory whenever it makes sense.”

---“We’ve actually been quite a bit of work out west in our territory near Ashland and Saunders County where we experienced quite a bit of issues in the past, that was one of many strategies that we took to improve reliability in those areas.”

---“(Burying lines) is difficult and disruptive and we want to make sure we have the work planned whenever it makes sense and for us to gradually consider these and execute on this strategy.”

[See our video with Fernandez's extended comments above]