‘As dangerous as anything’: Extreme caution encouraged by downed power lines

Local News
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(ABC4) – The Mountain Green Fire Prevention District responded to a downed power line on Old Highway Road Tuesday evening after winds ripped through the area. According to the fire department, several cars drove over the downed line. Fire officials and Rocky Mountain Power are now reminding drivers to not do that.

The fire department released a statement reading: “Utility lines blew down, causing a car accident. There were no injuries, and Old Highway was reopened quickly once the nature of the wires was determined to be not dangerous.”

Next came a warning: “Please don’t drive over downed utility lines like several drivers did; they may be energized! Turn around, don’t chance it.”

Jasen Lee, a spokesperson for Rocky Mountain Power, told ABC4 those drivers were lucky, saying “This is as dangerous as anything you could do.”

Lee explains whether there is a warning sign or not near downed power lines, people should always avoid them regardless of whether the person is walking or driving. He says if a line is live, it is extremely dangerous to drive over it with your vehicle.

“It’s scary and we don’t want people to underestimate the potential for danger for themselves,” Lee tells ABC4. “Just because you’re in your car and it may seem safe and generally speaking, that may be the case, however, you don’t want to be that one incident where it isn’t safe.” He explained that driving over a live line can seriously damage a car, or even cause death.

“The best thing to do is to avoid that hazard,” he states. “Drive around it like you would a pothole or some other type of obstacle in the road.”

Lee says the current storm is causing outages across the state. Some instances, like the one in Mountain Green, are caused by wind and trees downing lines. Others outages may be from lightning. “It’s causing us a bit of a hassle right now, but chances are it’ll be over, and we’ll be back to our normal lives in the not-too-distant future.”

Rocky Mountain Power recommends Utahns to have enough provisions for two to three days in the event of a major power outage event.

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