Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 2:53pm
Today's heavy snowfall has Madison firefighters responding to multiple reports of downed power lines. As of 8:30 this evening, firefighters had responded to 37 of these incidents.
Crews have worked to maintain safe areas around any live power lines that may pose a hazard to residents.
If you see wires down, assume they are energized and stay clear of them. Notify your utility company.
If it is safe to do so, clear tree limbs that may be heavily loaded with snow to prevent them from breaking and causing further damage. DO NOT attempt to remove a tree limb or other object from a power line. Electricity can travel through limbs, especially when they are wet.
If a broken power line should fall on your vehicle, stay inside the vehicle. Use your cell phone to call for help. The vehicle can become energized; you are safer remaining inside until help arrives.
If someone makes contact with a downed power line, don't try to rescue them because you risk becoming a victim yourself. Call 911 for help.
City of Madison Mayor Paul Soglin is advising anyone who relies on power for medical equipment, or who has a medical condition that is affected by a loss of power to call 911 for assistance.
Road conditions are still treacherous and residents are advised not to travel. The City Streets Department is prepared to escort any emergency vehicles that experience difficulty in responding to calls.
The City of Madison Fire Department is also issuing a reminder regarding snowblower safety. Paramedics have responded to at least three injuries today involving snowblowers.
Never put your hands near the blades of the snowblower. If snow jams the machinery, stop the engine and wait more than 5 seconds. Use a solid object to clear wet snow or debris from the chute. Beware of the recoil of the motor and blades after the machine has been turned off.
- Lori Wirth(608) 575-4943