When winter storms are expected, damage to power lines is a possibility.
Though large snow events have little direct impact on power lines, accumulated ice combined with wind can cause strain on the electric equipment, leading to breakage. Branches can break under heavy snow and also cause damage.
“Anyone that encounters a downed power line should consider the line energized and hazardous,” said Nick Kumm, General Manager at Marshfield Utilities. “The best approach is to maintain a safe distance from the downed line until the proper authorities can make the area safe.”
If it’s an emergency situation, 911 should be contacted.
“If a downed power line has started a fire or someone needs medical attention due to the downed power line, someone should call 911 and instruct the 911 operator to also contact the local utility,” said Kumm. “The local utility will need to de-energize the power line and make the scene safe before the firefighter can completely fight a fire, or before a first responder can tend to someone’s medical needs.”
Residents who notice a downed line can call the Marshfield Utilities office at 715-387-1195 Monday through Friday from 7-4 p.m. After hours, call 715-384-8515.