Stay Away from Downed Power Lines

Tornadoes, high winds, heavy rains and lightning can leave destruction in their wake. Once a severe storm has passed, it doesn’t mean the dangers have. Hazards can be left behind in the aftermath of a severe summer storm. One of those dangers is downed power lines.

Downed power lines are EXTREMELY dangerous and should be treated as such. Just because power lines are damaged does not mean they are dead. If you notice a downed power line, you should stay away from it and report it to the cooperative immediately.

Unlike your home's wiring which carries 120 volts, electric system power lines carry 7,200 volts. That’s 60 times more voltage! Cooperative linemen are highly skilled and trained to work on power lines. They have the proper protective equipment necessary to safely work on lines and they participate in regular safety training events.

Shown in the photo is an instance that took place during a recent storm, where someone cut a downed power line and then wrapped it around a basketball goal. This individual is EXTREMELY lucky to still be alive! In most cases, this scenario is tragic.

Electricity is so dangerous because you can’t see it. Every power line should be treated as if it is energized. To give you an example of how deadly electricity can be: according to the National Weather Service, a bolt of lightning (electricity) is 5 times hotter than the surface of the sun. That is why it is so important to stay far away from downed power lines and report them immediately to the cooperative by calling 417-256-2131 or 1-888-HOE-POWER.

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