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Power for Progress: Downed power lines? Stay away and stay safe!

Power for Progress: Downed power lines? Stay away and stay safe!

Stay away
Hurricane winds caused this downed powerline, which was repaired by GRDA crews during a mutual aid trip to Florida. However, spring storms in Oklahoma, accidents or other natural disasters can sometimes cause similar damage to powerlines here at home. If you see a scene like this, stay away! This week, GRDA shares more information and safety tips on downed powerlines.

Power for Progress…

A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority


Downed power lines? Stay away and stay safe!


Weather-wise, early March can mean many different things in Oklahoma. Maybe it still feels like winter or maybe it feels more like spring. More often than not though, the wind is likely blowing, no matter what the temperature.

And during a month that can come in like a lamb and go out like a lion (or vice versa) it is important to remember the impact that wind and weather can sometimes have on power lines. Although utility personnel work very hard to maintain the power systems, Mother Nature sometimes has different plans. So, during this time of the year when both winds and maybe even ice are still possible, GRDA wants to once again share these seasonal safety tips related to downed power lines.

  • First of all, if you see a downed power line, move away from it and anything touching it. The ground around power lines – up to 35 feet away - may be energized.
  • Always assume that ALL downed power lines are live.
  • The proper way to move away from the power line is to shuffle away with small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times. This will minimize the potential for a strong electric shock.
  • If you see someone who is in direct or indirect contact with the downed line, do not touch the person. You could become the next victim. Call 911 for help.
  • Do not attempt to move a downed power line or anything else in contact with it by using an object such as a broom or stick. Even non-conductive materials like wood or cloth can conduct electricity even if slightly wet.
  • Do not drive over downed power lines. 

These are just a few tips to keep in mind; for more electric safety tips, visit esfi.org. Your friends at GRDA want you to stay safe!

GRDA is Oklahoma’s largest public power electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees, and efficiency. 


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