When several trees on Hill Street were cut down to the stumps earlier this week, many residents in Southampton Village expressed shock and outrage at their loss.
According to the Long Island Power Authority, which was responsible for the work, their removal was a safety precaution.
“They were taken down as part of our scheduled storm-hardening efforts,” LIPA spokesperson Elizabeth Flagler said on Friday. The trees were identified by tree-care experts as dead or diseased and were being removed so they would not take down a power line during a storm, she explained. “It’s better to take them down before they fall down,” she added.
The LIPA crew removed 29 maple trees throughout the village and another 12 trees outside of the village borders, Ms. Flagler said. The authority was given permission by the municipalities, and the owners of three private trees also removed, to cut the trees down, according to the spokeswoman. Village Highway Supervisor John Brostowski confirmed that he gave LIPA permission to remove the trees that belonged to the village.