Excellent post, and I only wish I could have included your citation about the tree huggers not allowing trees to be trimmed - the trees that would eventually bring down power lines.
Note the two images from the 1999 derecho. It buckled a steel hi-tension tower and toppled groves of trees. That is what hurricane-force gusts can do.
So tell me again how the issues you raise about infrastructure would have made a difference in the face of a storm that can do such things.