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  • Writer's pictureCarly Bean

SAFETY ALERT from PUD3: Stay Away from Downed Power Lines

Recent winter weather has given us beautiful, snow-covered scenery and fluffy snow to play in. It has also brought hazardous road conditions, downed trees, and downed power lines.

PUD 3 crews have reported instances of Good Samaritans moving or marking downed power lines with caution tape. In three of these instances, the power lines were still live

when the PUD3 crews arrived on the scene - at 7,200 volts!

There have also been reported instances of people cutting trees or limbs off live lines, and driving over/under downed lines, causing the same concerns.

In a recent storm, PUD3 had 25 separate outages to respond to, many with downed powerlines, and only four crews to do the work, making it difficult to monitor every instance of downed power lines. In many of these situations, Fire & EMS crews are requested to help direct traffic or close roads until the hazard can be cleared.

Here is some information from PUD3 for what to do if you are found in a situation with downed power lines:


Stay at least 100 feet away from any downed line AND any object that may be touching it. Downed power lines are an emergency. Please report it via 911 so the appropriate personnel can be dispatched to secure the scene.

#2 - Know how to safely exit your vehicle

If you are in a situation where there are powerlines on or surrounding your vehicle, and staying inside your vehicle is not an option, knowing how to safely exit it could be life-saving. PSE has a great video on how to exit a vehicle if it is impossible to stay inside:

#3 - Understand the potential dangers

Here's another great video showing the danger of things that may become energized (watch the fence line in this video) from downed lines:

Thank you for doing your part to help yourself and the community safe from this extremely dangerous scenario. If you'd like additional information, you can find additional resources through PUD3 at: <> <> <> <> <>



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