On Friday a severe ice storm struck northern New England and at least 1.5 million households lost power. Some will not have electricity back until the end of this week.
Since ice storms are not exactly rare in that part of the world, it might have been a good idea to have buried the power lines. That [sensible] course of action, however, increases capital costs which are borne by the utilities and their customers. Perhaps the economics work better when a public company does it the cheap way - at least in the short term - with overhead wires and then gets Federal Disaster Aid when the inevitable happens.
This sounds like the Wall Street bailout again: just another case of privatizing profits and socializing losses.