Last summer, the historic derecho ripped through West Virginia, knocking out power to half the state.
Some customers were left without electricity for two weeks during the hottest time of the year.
The storm crumpled metal structures that hold high-voltage transmission lines, and many of the outages were caused by trees and tree limbs falling into local power lines.
The derecho was - we hope - a once-in-a-lifetime storm, but it was a dramatic example of a recurring problem in the Mountain State: power outages as a result of inadequate maintenance of electric lines.
It's become a vicious cycle. A storm causes power outages. Customers complain that the lines are not kept clear.
The power companies say they're doing the best they can. Then, after the power is restored, everyone forgets about it until the next storm.
That could be changing.
Last week, the state Public Service Commission ordered the power companies that serve West Virginia to come up with proposals for regular tree trimming along the rights of way.
"We're asking to see what their plans are for the next several years," said PSC spokesperson Susan Small. "How is it that they are going to go about treating all their properties, all of their lines, on a regular maintenance schedule rather than hit and miss."
The key here is "regular maintenance."
Appalachian Power Co., the state's largest provider of electricity with 500,000 customers, currently clears rights of way on an as-needed basis. Spokeswoman Jeri Matheney says Apco will reply to the PSC order with a "cycle trim" schedule that, for example, might have rights of ways cleared every four years.