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The dangers of downed power lines

Posted at 5:28 AM, Jul 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-16 13:55:23-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Downed power lines are something that can happen in the aftermath of a strong monsoon storm.

The Tucson-metro area is starting to see strong monsoon storms, and more are potentially on the way. And when they do, they can leave destruction behind them, like downed power lines and poles. A spokesperson for Tucson Electric Power says if you come across one, call 9-1-1.

"That is really the best thing for them to do, yes. Our dispatcher are in touch with 9-1-1 dispatchers," said Joseph Barrios with TEP.

If there is a power line down, especially after high winds and heavy rain, first responders will be there after the call to make sure the area is safe.

"Anytime you're in a situation where you see a downed power line, you should always assume that the line is energized. That it is unsafe to be around," said Barrios.

If you see one, don't try to move it out of the way, don't touch it, don't drive over it, don't go near it. Just call 9-1-1.

But if you experience an outage, check TEP's outage map or call its customer care at (520) 623-7711. That helps TEP technicians assess where the damage may be and how big of an affect it has.

"If there are downed or damaged power lines, we do try to make a note of that on the map, when we have verified that is the case," said Barrios.