Beware of electrical and natural gas hazards in a flood

This article was published in April 2022 and may be outdated.

During a flood, both electrical and natural gas safety are extremely important. Call Manitoba Hydro immediately at 204-480-5900 (Winnipeg) or 1-888-624-9376 if a flood-related electrical or natural gas emergency occurs in your home.

For your safety and to minimize flood damage to electrical and natural gas equipment in your home, consider the following:

Before a flood:

  • Turn off the electrical main power switch only if the building is dry.
  • Move portable electrical items to an upper floor or somewhere not at risk of water damage. Raise large electrical appliances like a refrigerator off the floor, if possible.
  • Prevent sewer backup by making sure the sewer backwater valve and sump pump are working.
  • Contact Manitoba Hydro as it may be necessary to shut off the gas supply to your home.

If your basement floods:

  • Do not enter flooded basements or buildings as they may have energized wires or appliances. Electricity can move through water or wet flooring and cause a severe electrical shock or death. Even a small amount of water on the floor can be dangerous.
  • Call Manitoba Hydro to disconnect the power at the pole and shut off your natural gas service.

After a flood:

Remember that natural gas and electrical hazards may still be present long after flood waters recede. Electrical and natural gas appliances damaged by flooding may look safe on the outside, but they can be extremely dangerous if they’re re-energized and used without being properly inspected by a licensed contractor. You may first need to contact a:

  • Licensed electrician to service your home’s electrical system and arrange for an inspection.
  • Licensed gas fitter to service your natural gas appliances and equipment.
  • Your contractor will advise Manitoba Hydro when it’s safe for your electricity or natural gas to be reconnected.

If your power was disconnected as a safety precaution, but you weren’t flooded, contact Manitoba Hydro to arrange for an inspection to be sure it’s safe to restore service without a contractor.

Learn about power line safety in flooded areas.