According to Ted Kury, director of energy studies at the University of Florida’s Public Utility Research Center, burying lines is not a magic bullet for hurricane preparedness. Floodwaters could slow down restoration of underground infrastructure.
Although tree branches do not affect buried lines, tree roots do. Uprooted trees throughout the LCEC service territory ripped lines out of the ground during hurricanes Charley, Wilma, and Irma. Specialized crews and equipment are often required to make repairs to underground facilities.
In addition, underground lines are served by equipment that is above the ground. When primary infrastructure sustains damage, the underground lines have no source of power and remain out until repairs can be completed on the main power source.