In Wyoming, because we so frequently get winds as high or higher than what NYC/NJ is coping with right now (and we don’t call them ‘hurricanes’ - we call it ‘winter’ and it comes for months every year) the utilities ruthlessly prune trees that are in the power line right-of-ways every year.
I mean *ruthlessly* prune. They’re not above taking down the top half of a tree and leaving you to ponder what to do with the bottom half.
As a result, the power reliabilities are pretty good, all things considered.
Semis, tractor trailers & all other sort of vehicles tipped over in those winds.
I'm not trying to diminish what-so-ever what is happening on the east coast with Sandy, but you are correct, high winds are "normal" out here and seldom reported anywhere other than locally.