On Saturday, November 5, 2016, over 4,300 customers in the Lewisporte area experienced a lengthy power outage. This outage was the result of individuals cutting trees in close proximity to electrical infrastructure. In this instance, one of the trees actually fell directly into a high voltage transmission line.
Of course this creates a major safety concern for those in the immediate vicinity of the contact. It also results in needless power outages to homes and business, not to mention critical locations such as hospitals, clinics and customers that rely on electricity to run home-based medical support equipment.
In this particular case, Newfoundland Power crews that responded to the incident found significant evidence of burning on the tree and at the base where the tree had been standing. Not only could the individual who was cutting the tree have been seriously injured or killed, but the same could also apply to anyone that was in close proximity to the tree at the time of the contact. Make sure you think about this the next time you are cutting trees, whether you are completing a commercial job, or you are just out to cut firewood or find the perfect Christmas tree – as our safety ads say, make sure you Look Up Before You Cut.
It was only pure luck that no one was seriously injured or killed as result of this incident, however, we cannot say the same for similar situations in the past. Please don’t take this warning for granted. It could mean the difference between life and death.
If you see someone cutting wood in close proximity to a power line please let us know immediately by calling our emergency line at 1-800-474-5711.
Think Safe. Live Safe.