Nebraska Public Power District is urging customers to be aware of the dangers of downed powerlines. One result of severe spring storms are downed powerlines. Tornadoes can bring down transmission lines typically located in rural areas, but trees damaged by tornadoes or high wind conditions can come down on local distribution lines, creating a power outage to residents in the area.
“We urge the public to stay away from downed powerlines and poles, consider them to be live, and do not attempt to move them,” says Vice-President of Energy Delivery Art Wiese. “It is important to allow trained lineman to respond to the area to make sure the lines are deenergized and removed or repaired in a safe manner.”
“It’s also important to refrain from driving over powerlines if you come across one on a roadway,” adds Wiese. “If a powerline has fallen on a vehicle or is lying on the ground, it can charge the area around it with electricity.”
If you are in a car and a power line has fallen on it, stay in the car until public power utility personnel arrive on the scene. If remaining in the car is not an option due to a fire or other unsafe conditions, jump clear of the vehicle so that you land upright with your feet touching the ground together, and then shuffle away from the area. Tips on safety precautions during a power outage are available at https://www.nppd.com/outages-safety/electrical-safety.