After the extended loss of power in the area (which continues for some Central Virginia residents) owing to Hurricane Isabel, an obvious question that comes to mind is that of why our electrical lines aren’t buried. Virginia Dominion Power says that it could cost “several million dollars a mile” to bury utility lines, but others argue that it couldn’t be nearly that cheap. Attorney Lloyd Smith has discovered that Charlottesville’s 1888 franchise agreement requires Dominion Power to bury the lines, if City Council so requests. Who is right isn’t clear, but it’s newly-obvious that something has got to change. Lisa Provence has the story in this week’s Hook.