Power lines

More in this section

If you see a damaged or fallen power line, stay at least 10 metres away and call 911 or your local emergency services immediately.

Downed power lines

  • Treat all downed lines as if they were energized. Stay away from them and anything that they touch, including puddles of water, flooded structures, and fences (especially metal fences).
  • Never try to move a downed power line with any object. For example, a non-conductive material like wood can have moisture in it that acts as a conductor or the line could slide down the object and onto you.
  • Do not try to repair damaged power lines or remove tree limbs from power lines — our qualified employees will do this.
  • High winds can bring down power lines — keep children inside, and pets on a leash, to prevent accidental contact.
  • Avoid our crews when they are working on power lines.
  • Stay clear of low or sagging power lines.
  • If not an emergency, report the outage online.

Vehicle in contact with downed power line

If power lines contact a vehicle, call 911 or your local emergency services immediately.

  • Stay in the vehicle and wait for help to arrive.
  • Assume all downed power lines are live and do not drive over them.
  • Warn others to stay at least 10 metres away from the power lines and vehicle.

If it is dangerous to stay in the vehicle:

  1. Keep your feet together and hold your arms tightly at your sides. Do not step out of the vehicle one foot at a time — you make a path for electricity to ground — as this can cause severe injuries or death.
  2. Jump clear without touching the vehicle and the ground at the same time, and land with both feet together.
  3. Shuffle or hop away while keeping your feet together.
  4. Move at least 10 metres away from the downed lines.

Fallen tree or branches touching a power line

Basic equipment on an electric power distribution pole.

Learn more about the basic equipment found on electric power distribution poles.

If you see a tree or branch that has fallen on a power line, stay at least 10 metres away, and call 911 or your local emergency services immediately.

  • Do not go near the tree or anything the line may be touching. A tree touching a power line can be energized.
  • Do not remove tree limbs on power lines as they may still be energized.

Many outages caused by trees can be prevented planting your tree away from power lines.

If you have questions about tree trimming on your property, call us at 204-480-5900 (Winnipeg) or 1-888-624-9376 (toll-free).

Back to top

Galloping power lines

Galloping transmission or power lines can occur when freezing rain creates icicles and odd-shaped ice on transmission towers and conductors. High winds push on the icicles and conductors and lifts them up, creating a galloping, or jumping, motion.

If you see galloping transmission lines, stay clear. Do not approach the transmission lines or towers. You can be hurt by ice breaking off or power lines breaking loose. Power lines can sway in high winds, but it’s the combination of wind and ice that causes them to gallop more forcefully.

Transmission lines are designed to withstand galloping or jumping. However, if the energized conductor gets close enough to any grounded part such as the steel of the tower, the grounded skywire, or another energized conductor, a short circuit occurs until protection devices such as relays and circuit breakers interrupt the break. This causes lights to flicker.

Back to top