Avoid downed powerlines because it could save your life

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RAPID CITY, SD (KOTA TV) - It's not something you see every day or even every winter, but you need to know what to do if you approach a downed powerline.

Black Hills Energy Senior Manager of Community Affairs, Mutch Usera, says “when that happens the recommendation we have for you is stay away from downed powerline, common sense."

A downed powerline is likely to occur because of extreme weather or after being struck by something like a car or lightning.

If you see one on the ground, you should first back away at least 10 feet, but never go towards it.

Our bodies are made of mostly water and if you know anything about water and electricity, you know they don't mesh.

Never assume just because a powerline is on the ground, that it's off.

"If you are next to a powerline or if you decide to grab that powerline not knowing that there is electricity or energy flowing through it, you'll obviously become a potential hazard and there could be injury or death related to that contact," explains Usera.

Usera says this rarely actually happens in the hills but when it does, you need to call 911and they will notify the power company so they can fix the problem.