Downed power lines create dangerous situations

Downed power lines create dangerous situations (NTV News)

We often think about the dangers that come up when driving, especially in severe weather, but we can forget just how shockingly easy it is to electrocute yourself on downed power lines.

It was a rough Thursday morning for one SUV driver west of Kearney after they slid off the road and into a power pole, but the situation had an added element of danger as the collision brought power lines down with it.

Telling us to stay off the roads to stay safe, NTV News reached out to Dawson Public Power District over the phone about what to do around downed power lines and their is advice was simple, don't go anywhere near it.

"If you now have power lines either laying on the hood of your vehicle or laying on the ground next to the vehicle please stay in the car. When you are in the car you are like a bird on a wire. The electricity is traveling either through the metal of the vehicle through the tires into the ground or straight into the ground and you can't see it, you can't smell it when electricity is live," said Chelsea Gengenbach of Dawson Public Power District.

Securing the scene around downed power lines is the top priority for lineman and repair crews, and adding untrained people to a situation with downed power lines can be a dangerous combination.

"They have quite a few things they need to look out for when they come upon a scene like vehicle accidents. Onlookers we asked that they keep a safe distance away or just find an alternate route when driving so our vehicles can come in," said Gengenbach.

Sliding vehicles aren't the only danger to power lines during the winter, freezing temperatures and winter weather can also cause headaches for utility companies.

"Snow isn't a big problem for power companies the real issues lie with ice. Even a small bit of ice that collects on our power lines creates an immense amount of weight and can pull those power lines down," said Gengenbach

The Dawson Public Power District wanted us to remind everyone that downed power lines are extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all cost.

If you see a downed power line or damaged power pole, you should avoid it and call 911.

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