Much of our electric grid problems stem from lack of common sense and rules preventing people from planting trees under utility lines. Typically, an ignorant person will plant a small tree or bush and give no thought to it's future size at maturity. They don't have the foresight to look up and imagine what will happen as the tree grows. Another problem is the lack of tree trimming crews keeping up with tree growth. Look around in your neighborhood at how many branches are touching lines. Unless there is a stepped up program of trimming, education as to places to avoid when planting trees, and more underground placement of utilities, this will be a costly and ongoing problem. You don't see poles and wires in downtown areas of large cities. The same method of underground placement should be followed in suburbs. You don't hear of people losing water or gas during a storm. That's because the pipes are kept underground and immune to falling trees.
I worked for an electric utility. The cost to bury electrical cables is roughtly 6 times the cost to string the wires overhead. Newer communities absorb the upfront cost of burying lines. It usually comes down to economic analysis as to when to bury a wire or maintain it above ground. Either way, the costs are a part of the electric rate the customer pays.