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Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Severe Weather Safety
West Point NE—With the storm over the weekend, Cuming County Public Power District wants to remind everyone to be prepared and know how to stay safe during and after the storm.
On Monday (Labor Day) CCPPD linemen were called in to repair four poles that went down a couple miles south of the golf course in Beemer. The poles fell across the road due to high winds that moved through the area over the weekend. These lines that were brought down were Sub-Transmission lines and customers in the area didn’t have to wait long to have their power restored.
The linemen were able to switch the source of power fed to that area. Instead of getting power from the Beemer substation, it was rerouted from the Winslow substation. The work to repair the poles and wires will take a few more days. In that time we want to be sure that all customers are aware and watch for the workers on the sides of the country roads.
The poles that went down had passed pole testing and inspection in 2009. This area is known for high winds. The District installed vibration dampeners over a decade ago to stop the winds from galloping during icy conditions.
CCPPD reminds everyone of the increased electrocution risks that storms can cause, and offers safety tips to avoid serious injury or death when dealing with the aftermath of a storm.
Before the storm:
- Assemble a kit of essentials, like battery-operated flashlights and radios. Keep a list of emergency phone numbers that includes the electric utility. Be prepared for the possibility of a prolonged outage due to power line and electric equipment damage.
- Fill spare containers with water for washing, and keep a supply of bottled drinking water on hand. Maintain a supply of non-perishable food items, along with a hand opener for canned food.
- Be sure to tune into your local weather station if you suspect severe weather is brewing. Understand the National Weather Service warning classification system. A tornado or severe storm watch means that conditions are favorable for those weather conditions forming. A warning means that dangerous weather conditions are developing and imminent.
- Lightning can travel up to ten miles away from a storm, so seek shelter as soon as you hear thunder.
During an outage, switch off lights and appliances to prevent overloading circuits and damaging appliances when power is restored. Leave one lamp or switch on as a signal for when your power returns.
After the storm:
- When venturing outside after a severe storm, stay away from downed power lines and be alert to the possibility that tree limbs or debris may hide an electrical hazard. Assume that any dangling wires you encounter are electrical, and treat all downed or hanging power lines as if they are energized. Warn others to stay away and contact the electric utility.
- If you are driving and come upon a downed power line, stay in your vehicle, warn others to stay away and contact emergency personnel or electric utility. Also when driving, be careful at intersections where traffic lights may be out. Stop at all railroad crossings, and treat road intersections with traffic signals as a four-way stop before proceeding with caution.
- Before re-entering storm-damaged buildings or rooms, be sure all electric and gas services are turned off. Never attempt to turn off power at the breaker box if you must stand in water to do so. If you can’t reach your breaker box safely, call your electric utility to shut off power at the meter.
- Never step into a flooded basement or other area if water is covering electrical outlets, appliances or cords. Be alert to any electrical equipment that could be energized and in contact with water. Never touch electrical appliances, cords or wires while you are wet or standing in water.
- Cleaning up and using water-damaged appliances also carry safety risks. Electric motors in appliances that have been drenched or submerged should be thoroughly cleaned and reconditioned before they are put back into service. It may be necessary to repair or replace electrical appliances or tools that have been in contact with water. Do not use any water-damaged appliance until a professional has checked it out.
- When using a generator, follow all manufacturers’ recommendations to avoid tragedy. Keep the generator dry and never plug it into a wall outlet or directly into the home’s wiring. This could inadvertently energize the utility lines and injure yourself or others working to restore power.