Downed Power Lines

Downed Power Lines

Stay 100 feet away from all Downed Power Lines and call us right away!

Report a downed power line:

•    360-426-8255 (Shelton)
•    360-861-4247 (Elma)
•    911

NEVER touch downed lines, go near them, or touch anything near them. Treat all downed lines with extreme caution, and always assume wires are energized.

If you come across a downed wire of any kind, always do the following:

Never Touch a Downed Power Line

  • Never touch anything or anyone in contact with a power line. You could be shocked by contact with the line or a secondary object or person. Electricity can travel through the ground, fences, hoses, and playscapes. A live wire, either on the ground or in trees, can harm you, even if you don't directly touch the line.
  • Do not assume that a downed power line is safe simply because it is on the ground or it is not sparking.
  • When a live wire touches the ground, electricity spreads out through the ground in a circular fashion, similar to when a pebble hits water. As you move away from the center, large differences in voltages can be created which can electrocute you. If you come upon a downed line of any kind, stay at least 100 feet away. Do not attempt to rescue a person or pet.
  • Do not assume that any wire is a harmless telephone, television, or fiber-optic cable. You never know if it has become energized further down the line and it can carry a lethal current.
  • Never use any object to move a downed wire. Rubber gloves and rubber-soled shoes will not protect you from electrocution.

Call 911 or the PUD 360-426-8255

  • Leave EVERYTHING to utility professionals and emergency personnel.

Do not drive over or under downed power lines

  • Again, don’t assume the lines are harmless - Even if they're not energized, downed wires can get entangled with your vehicle and cause further damage.

When a vehicle comes in contact with a power line

  • If a broken power line falls on your vehicle and you cannot safely drive away call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Warn others not to touch the vehicle. Ask them to call 9-1-1 if you are unable to call.
  • Do not leave the vehicle unless it becomes unsafe due to immediate dangers, such as fire or smoke. You may leave the vehicle when someone from Mason PUD 3 tells you it is safe to do so.

If you observe a fallen power line on a vehicle:

  • Stay at least 100 feet away from the downed line.
  • If someone is in the vehicle, call 9-1-1.
  • Call PUD 3 at 360-426-8255 and report the location of the line.
  • Do not approach or make contact with the person or vehicle. Wait for emergency personnel.

Never remove trees or limbs touching or near downed wire

  • Electricity can also travel through tree limbs. Never remove tree limbs or other items touching or near a downed wire. Call PUD 3 360-426-8255 to report the tree limb.

If you must evacuate, jump away and land with both feet together

  • If you must exit the vehicle because of fire or other safety reasons, try to jump completely clear, making sure that you do not touch the car and the ground at the same time. Land with both feet together and shuffle away in small steps to minimize the path of electric current and avoid electrical shock. Be careful to maintain your balance.
  • Keep your feet together and take small, shuffling steps until you're at least 35 feet away. Taking larger steps can also create a voltage differential and a path for electricity to run through you.


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