Recent major storms knocked out power for millions of people during an oppressive heatwave. It took up to a full week to restore power to everyone. The same utility poles also often carry telephone and cable TV lines.
USAToday has two commentaries on the subject, one in favor of burying lines underground, and one in favor of the status quo.
Bury lines:Keep above ground. [My housing complex is served by underground utility lines, and they are not perfect. Repairs are extremely expensive. Underground wiring can break from a bad freeze/thaw cycle. We relocated our transformers to above ground for longer life; the inground units tended to have problems.
FWIW, our old house was served by an underground telephone line, and later was converted to an aerial line (don't know why.)
It seems to me utilities must be much more aggressive in tree trimming near power lines, even if homeowners object. As the many communities developed in the 1950s and 1960s age, their trees get large and not always healthy, and are at high risk to crash during a storm.]