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Frozen power lines are seen hanging near a sidewalk on February 01, 2023 in Austin, Texas. A winter storm is sweeping across portions of Texas, causing massive power outages and disruptions of highways and roads.Usually it sounds like distant thunder punctuated by a bone-splitting crack. Then the lights flicker before going out. Sometimes, it’s silent. Hundreds of pounds of ice weigh down a branch, which sags onto a power line, stretching it until the copper and steel tendrils snap. And then the lights go out.This week, for the second time in less than two years, hundreds of thousands of Texans were left sitting in extended winter darkness. Only this time, the culprit wasn’t an Arctic blast that froze up power plants and gas infrastructure—it was icy trees.The “oakpocalypse” has wreaked havoc across much of the Hill Country through Central Texas and into northeast Texas, places where the Quercus virginiana, the live oak, has taken root. These beautiful specimens have…

The post Why Can’t Texas Just Bury Its Electrical Lines? appeared first on Texas Monthly.

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