With possible ice and freezing rain in the forecast … GRDA shares winter weather safety tips

A GRDA right-of-way covered in snow and ice following the blizzard-like conditions to hit the area in February 2011.

A GRDA right-of-way covered in snow and ice following the blizzard-like conditions to hit the area in February 2011.

Vinita — With the most recent weather forecasts for Northeastern Oklahoma calling for the possibility of winter precipitation later this week – including the possibility of ice and freezing rain – that means power outages are also a possibility.

While no one wants to experience that, it is important that we be prepared for it. Of course, part of that preparation should be an understanding of the dangers of power lines that have fallen under the weight of ice and snow. What follows are a collection of safety tips from the Electrical Safety Foundation International (esfi.org) and other sources. The Grand River Dam Authority has shared these before, but we wanted to passes them along again in hopes you will remain safe through the weather event, no matter what may come your way:

1. Always assume fallen power lines are energized. Stay at least ten feet away from a downed power line and any nearby objects it may be touching, such as a fence or a tree limb.

2. Remember, a power line does not need to be sparking or arcing to be energized, even if it is sagging close to or on the ground.

3. Be careful not to put your feet near water where a downed power line is located.

4. Do not drive over downed power lines

5. Contact your utility company immediately to report downed power lines outside your home.

6. Never touch a person who is in contact with a downed power line. Call 911 immediately.

7. Never attempt to move a downed power line with another object. Even non-conductive materials like wood or cloth that are slightly wet can conduct electricity.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Directly or indirectly, GRDA’s low-cost, reliable; electricity serves nearly 500,000 homes in Oklahoma and stretches into 75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75-plus years.

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