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Stay safe, stay clear of downed powerlines

Stay safe, stay clear of downed powerlines

Stay back, stay safe
GRDA electric linemen work to rebuild a high voltage electric transmission line that was damaged during a storm. If you ever come across a downed powerline, your friends at GRDA urge you to stay clear, as the ground -- up to 35 feet away -- may be energized. Always assume a downed powerline is live. GRDA is sharing these safety reminders, and others, this week.

Power for Progress…

A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority

Stay safe, stay clear of downed powerlines


Weather-wise, early March can mean many different things in Oklahoma. Maybe it still feels like winter or maybe it feels more like spring. One thing is almost always true though: the wind is likely blowing, no matter the temperature. 

During this month that can come in like a lamb and go out like a lion (or sometimes vice versa) it is important to remember the impact that extreme wind and weather can 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 share a few seasonal safety tips from the Electric Safety Foundation International (esfi.org):

  • First, 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, always keeping your feet together and on the ground. 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 if even 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 when you see a downed powerline.

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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