New transmission poles being installed in Florence after damage from carpenter bees, woodpeckers

The birds and the bees are wreaking havoc in Florence, and it's putting utility crews to work.

Posted: Oct 24, 2019 8:39 PM
Updated: Oct 24, 2019 8:43 PM

The birds and the bees are wreaking havoc in Florence, and it's putting utility crews to work.

WAAY 31 saw a wooden utility pole now riddled with carpenter bee and woodpecker holes. That allows the elements to get in and erode the poles.

Jeanie Maner, who lives in Florence, told WAAY 31 her quiet Park Street saw some action this week, with large steel and concrete transmission poles going in.

"You can actually see the damage on most of the original poles. It's all the way up, and it's crazy to watch because you can see the woodpeckers in the daytime," she said. 

New 75-foot transmission poles can last up to 100 years and withstand higher winds.

"Considering the storms and the damage that we tend to have in this area, it's a good comfort to know that you don't have to worry about the utility poles, and we have an amazing utility department," Maner said.

So far, the city has installed about 12 poles. If you're wondering about steel electric poles attracting lightning, the utility says they don't. Every pole, regardless of its material, has a grounding system at the base that disperses lightning into the ground.

Maner, who is a part-time artist, told WAAY 31 while she was watching crews work, they actually gave her pieces of the old poles.

"I'm going to do something with them, maybe a nice koi pond. Who knows? I see a lot of potential here," she said.

The utility department said if they can repair the wooden poles, it costs about $600, but to get them new, that's $4,000 a pop.

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