Downed power lines

If you see a damaged or fallen power line

  • Report downed lines to us at 204-480-5900 in Winnipeg or 1-888-624-9376 outside Winnipeg, or call the police immediately.
  • Treat all downed lines as if they were energized. Stay away from them and anything that they touch including puddles of water and fences, especially if the fences are metal.
  • Never touch a downed power line or try to move one with any type of object. Moving power lines is extremely dangerous and could result in serious injury or death. Even if the material is non-conductive, such as wood, moisture in the wood will act as a conductor. Also, the line could slide down the object and come into contact with your body.
  • Never attempt to repair damaged power lines or remove tree limbs from power lines. Only qualified Manitoba Hydro employees should do this.
  • If you see crews working on power lines, try to avoid their work area.
  • Keep children inside and pets on a leash to prevent electric shock or electrocution.
  • If you live in a tornado zone or where high winds can occur, secure anything that might be blown around or torn loose and cause a fire.

If your vehicle comes in contact with downed power lines

  • Stay where you are, if possible – it may be dangerous to exit from the vehicle.
  • If you can safely back the vehicle away from contact with the lines, do so.
  • Warn others to stay clear of the power lines.
  • Have someone contact us to de-energize the lines.

As a last resort, if it is necessary to leave the vehicle, it is important not to simply step out of the vehicle one foot at a time as your body will make a path for electricity to ground.

  • Keep your feet together.
  • Hold your arms tightly at your sides.
  • Jump clear without touching the vehicle and ground at the same time.
  • With feet together, shuffle or hop away from the downed line and vehicle.
Play video button

Safely exiting a vehicle

What to do if you encounter downed power lines while in a vehicle, including how to exit, if you are in danger. Video produced by Puget Sound Energy (Washington, USA).

Play video: This Might Shock You: Downed Power Line. (5:21)

If you see a tree in contact with a power line

  • If you see a tree in direct contact with a power line, call us at 204-480-5900 in Winnipeg or 1-888-624-9376 outside Winnipeg, or contact the police immediately.
  • A tree touching a power line can be energized; stay away from it and from anything the line may be touching.
  • Never attempt to remove tree limbs from power lines as power lines knocked down by a broken tree branch may still carry an electrical charge;
  • Many outages caused by trees could be prevented by ensuring you do not plant your trees too close to power lines.