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Utility to start inspecting of Wis., Mich. lines

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) — People across northwestern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula might soon spot a helicopter flying over their neighborhoods and farms.

Xcel Energy officials say they plan to begin inspecting their transmission lines in the two regions by helicopter on Monday. The inspection will last through early July.

The utility maintains more than 2,400 transmission lines in Wisconsin and Michigan. They extend east from the Minnesota border to Eau Claire and north from La Crosse to Ironwood, Mich.

The inspections will take place during daylight hours. The helicopter will fly within 50 feet of the lines or hover near a transmission structure if something requires a closer look.

Xcel officials say the inspection will help identify potential problems before they occur. The inspection is expected to run through early July.

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