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Live power line safety: What to do if you come across downed wires

Published: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 @ 7:06 AM

Marshall Gorby/Staff
Marshall Gorby/Staff

After tornadoes and severe storms hit the area Monday night, power lines are down across the area and tens of thousands are without power.

>> Miami Valley tornadoes: Widespread damage reported in Montgomery, Greene, Mercer counties

If you do come across downed lines, this is what you need to know, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International.

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Always assume downed power lines are live. Downed lines can be deadly, and avoid approaching them.

Use precaution

  • Downed power lines can energize the ground up to 30 feet away and even more in wet conditions
  • Never drive over downed power lines or water that is in contact with them
  • Never try to move a downed power line

If a vehicle is in contact with a downed power line or utility pole

  • Stay in place or inside your vehicle unless you see fire or smoke
  • Warn others to stay at least 35 feet away
  • Call 911

In the event of fire or smoke

  • Do not touch the ground and vehicle at the same time
  • Jump from the vehicle with your feet together
  • Shuffle away, avoiding lifting your feet

According to Dayton Power & Light, report a downed line online or by caling 877-4OUTAGE. 

>> Ohio Task Force One mobilizes for search and rescue effort after overnight tornadoes

>> Beavercreek mayor declares emergency after severe storm

>> Power has been restored to majority of Celina customers after severe storm caused massive power outage

>> Brookville schools canceled due to storm damage