Downed Power Lines

Downed Power Lines

Downed Power Lines and Other Dangerous Conditions

With the severe wind and storms that our area is known to receive, there is always the likelihood of downed power lines.  Please beware of power lines when venturing out of your home after a storm.  Equipment is another common cause of down power lines.  If you are operating large equipment please be aware of any overhead power lines in the area.  If you drive equipment through a line, you will be in charge of the cost to repair the line and damage. 

A downed power line that is not hissing, arcing, and writhing violently does not mean it is safe to venture near.  Even if the power to your home is out and there is a down power line, do not think it is safe to move.  Power lines could become re-energized at any time.  ALWAYS assume that a down power line is energized and, therefore, the risk of electrocution is possible.

The electricity in a power line always seeks a path to the ground.  This path could include a tree, fence, or vehicle, which would then become energized.  The ground, too, becomes energized once electricity reaches it.  It can spread over a large area, up to 33 feet, and if the ground is wet it can spread even further.

If you notice a downed power line please do the following:

  1. Treat down power lines, and anything in contact with them, as energized.
  2. Park away from the power lines.
  3. Stop traffic and keep people away, at least 33 feet from the fallen line.
  4. Don't become a victim yourself by touching a downed power line, even with a stick or other object.
  5. Call NEA ,or the power company serving the territory of the down line, IMMEDIATELY, to ensure the power line will not be reactivated until everyone is safely out of the way.
  6. Do not approach the scene until a power company representative confirms it's safe.

Reporting Other Dangerous Conditions

It's Niobrara Electric's job to maintain the power system to provide safe and reliable service.  You can help by reporting power line conditions that need attention, such as:

  • Broken or leaning poles
  • Broken or sagging lines
  • Broken or leaning crossarms
  • Trees growing into lines
  • Broken insulators
  • Sparks coming from electrical wires or equipment
  • Excavation activity in areas where buried lines are likely to exist
  • Construction activity under power lines.