Fallen electrical wires caused by storm and tree damage

Safety Near Fallen Wires

To Report Fallen Wires or Other Electrical Emergency

1. STAY AWAY! If you see a fallen power line or other potentially hazardous condition involving electrical equipment, stay at least 30 feet away. You cannot tell if the line is energized just by looking at it. The ground around fallen or low-hanging lines as well as surrounding objects such as fences could be energized. Do not ever touch a power line or use an object such as a broom or stick to try to move the wire or anything else in contact with it. Do not touch anyone who is in direct or indirect contact with a fallen line. Be careful not to step in water near where a fallen power line is located. Do not drive over fallen power lines.

2. CALL 911 immediately to make a report. Emergency responders will be notified and Central Hudson dispatched to make repairs.

3. While ensuring your own safety, please do your best to alert others to the fallen wires and urge them to stay at least 30 feet away from the fallen line and anything contacting it as well.

For more electrical safety tips, click here.

Wire Guards

Wire guards are often assigned to areas where downed wires are located. These employees are placed in these areas for the safety of the public. Please listen to the instructions of these wire guards who protect people from getting too close to wires, which may be live, and also prevent any accidental cases of driving over the lines.

These wire guards are not trained to repair electrical wires, transformers, etc. Having wire guards stationed in locations throughout our service territory does not affect the number of line and tree crews we have working on restoration efforts in the event of a storm.


Other important things to remember:

Downed power lines can carry an electric current strong enough to cause serious injury or even death. Electricity wants to move from a high voltage zone to a low voltage zone – and it could do that through your body.

  • The proper way to move away from the power line is to shuffle away with small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times. This will minimize the potential for a strong electric shock.
  • If you see someone who is in direct or indirect contact with the downed line, do not touch the person. Call 911 for help.
  • Be careful not to touch or step in water near where a downed power line is located.
  • Do not drive over downed power lines.
  • If your car comes in contact with a downed power line while you are inside, stay in the car. Honk your horn to summon help, but direct others to stay away from your car. Stay inside and wait for rescue crews. Do not try to help someone else from the car while you are standing on the ground. If you do, you will become a path for electricity. In the event of a fire, jump clear from the car without touching the car and the ground at the same time; then shuffle away, keeping both feet on the ground at the same time, and taking care not to contact any wires or touch any object near the site of the accident.