Sioux Valley urges safety after public contacts with equipment in May

Public contacts, the industry term for people hitting electrical equipment, caused over 134 hours of power outages for Sioux Valley Energy members during the month of May. The public contacts range from farmers hitting poles and transformers with equipment to contractors digging into underground power lines.

 Sioux Valley Energy Safety Manager Terry Ebright says the electric system is designed and built to be safe and efficient, providing power to homes and businesses but when contact is made by a member of the public, it can be dangerous. He says if you hit an electric line, you always need to assume it’s still energized. Stay put unless the vehicle is on fire and call 911. If you have to get out of your vehicle because of a fire, tuck your arms across your body and jump with your feet together as far as possible from the equipment so no part of your body touches the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Move away from the vehicle with your feet together, either by hopping or shuffling, until you are at least 40 feet away.