Winter storm: What to do if power lines are down

Here’s the KCPL advisory on downed power lines.

The recent run of severe weather has resulted in extensive power outages and downed power lines throughout Kansas City, Mo. Approximately 22,000 Kansas City, Mo., KCP&L customers are currently without power. KCP&L has called in additional personnel and are progressing through restoration.

Because of the higher temps this storm (~ 33 degrees), the snow is very moist and heavy, resulting in accumulation on trees and power lines. This accumulation is causing trees and power lines to sag and is a greater risk of downed power lines.

During the storm, the public is advised to follow some safety tips:

  •  If you find a downed power line, stay away and keep others away as well. Call KCP&L toll-free at 1-888-LIGHT-KC (1-888-544-4852) or your local utility to report it.
  • Observe downed wires from a safe distance, at least 10 feet away.
  • Be aware – lines that are down and known to be dead can become re-energized.
  •  You may not be able to tell the difference between a telephone line, television cable line or an electrical line. Consider all of them as being energized, stay away and call for help.
  •  Be watchful for fallen lines that have contacted metal fences, backyard gym sets and other structures. If a power line has come down on a metal fence, even a connecting fence several yards away can be energized. The slightest touch can injure or even kill.
  •  If a person or object is in contact with a power line, don’t touch the person, object or line. The electric current could flow through you. Call 911 and KCP&L immediately (1-888-LIGHT-KC; 1-888-544-4852).
  •   If a power line falls on your vehicle, stay in your vehicle. Use your cell phone to call for help or wait for help to arrive. Never move downed wires blocking vehicle access and don’t drive across downed wires.
  •  If you must leave your vehicle, jump clear to avoid being in contact with the car and the ground at the same time and then move slowly away from the car shuffling your feet to keep them both in contact with the ground at all times.
  •  Before removing tree debris, carefully check the debris and surrounding ground for downed wires. Look overhead for dangling or low power lines. Report downed wires or other dangerous conditions to us immediately by calling toll-free 1-888-LIGHT-KC (1-888-544-4852).
  • Stay away from flooded areas if water is in contact with electrical outlets, appliances, lamps or power cords. Not even rubber boots can guarantee protection from severe shock in this situation.

Reminder: Call toll-free 1-888-LIGHTKC (1-888-544-4852) to report outages, flickering lights, lines down or other damage-related problems.

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