Downed Power Lines Causing Safety Concerns Amid Inclement Weather

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Inclement weather can be a hazard, and even deadly, especially when storm conditions knock down power-lines. That’s why First Responders and BGE are teaming up to teach the public what to do to stay safe.

Whether it’s a deluge of rain several inches of snow and ice or a tornado touching down, Maryland has braved many storms in the last year. Inclement weather can cause toppling trees, knock down power lines and crash them on to cars.

“It is a very dangerous situation to the public as well as First Responders,” said Lt. Ariel Jackson, Anne Arundel County Fire Department.

First Responders and utility crews are tasked with rescues and recovery efforts. So Anne Arundel Fire and Police Departments are teaming up with BGE for a severe impact storm drill, on the dangers of downed power lines.

If anyone sees a downed power line, they’re urged to not get close. The ground itself may be charged and you may get shocked. The best thing anyone can do to help is call 911.

In a real-life simulation, BGE employees are being taught how to stay safe if a power line falls,  and how people trapped in their cars are brought to safety.

“It’s necessary to bring somebody out of the car so absolutely working together does that and can save life,” said BGE employee Nicole James.

Officials say the safest thing to do is stay inside the vehicle until help arrives.

“They have to de-energize those lines before anyone can render aid or start to assess the victim. Assume those lines are always live, whether you hear or see anything,” said Justin Mulcahy, BGE Communications.

Those precautions are so that bystanders and First Responders can walk away unharmed.

Fire officials are not telling people not to be good Samaritans– they just want everyone to stay safe, and that means staying as far away from the wires as possible.

BGE uses the storm training to test it’s preparedness during real-life storms.

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