How To Stay Safe Around Electricity During Floods

Staff | September 28, 2010

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) is reminding people to avoid downed power lines and to be cautious about electricity during floods.

  • Treat a downed power line as though it is energized. Stay clear, both of the line and any object it touches. Report the downed line by calling your local energy utility and emergency personnel as soon as possible.
  • Do not attempt to remove trees or limbs from any utility line. Assume anything touching a power line is energized.
  • Keep away from flooded areas and stay indoors. Even wading in a shallow puddle or flooded basement that is exposed to a live line can cause harmful electrical contact.
  • If water is rising near your home or business, turn off electricity at the main breaker. Be sure you are not in water when turning off the main electrical source. If there is water at the main breaker, turn off and unplug all electrical appliances.
  • If your home or business is flooded, evacuate and do not return until the water has completely receded. Before using electricity, contact an electrician or inspector to ensure the power supply is safe to use.
  • If you must use a portable generator, always operate it outside, away from doors and windows, to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, do not connect your generator directly into your home or business' main fuse box or circuit panel.

If you have any questions or concerns about the power supply at your home or business, contact your local utility.

For more information about flooding conditions in Wisconsin, contact the State Emergency Operations Center at (608) 242-3232.