Delaware County residents need to be reminded about safety practices following strong winds Thursday that brought down power lines and trees across the county, authorities said.
Sandy Mackey, public information officer at the Delaware County Emergency Management Agency, said Thursday that the biggest problems arising from strong winds are downed power lines and the outages they cause.
“Stay away from downed power lines,” Mackey said. “If you see a downed line, report it but do not touch it or try to move it. If a tree has fallen, there could be power lines mixed in with the tree branches/debris. Always use caution when approaching a situation like this.”
The EMA recommends keeping your power provider’s contact information on hand so you can report outages. The EMA also recommends having a cellphone charger in your vehicle in case the power in your home is out. Cellphones are also handy as a flashlight, the EMA notes.
Residents using a generator should follow the manufacturer’s directions and never use a generator indoors or in an attached garage, authorities warn.
Power outages also cause problems for drivers. Police said drivers should take extra caution when power is out at light-controlled intersections.
Delaware Police Captain Adam Moore said that four-way intersections become four-way stop intersections when traffic lights have no power.
“It does become hazardous when drivers are unaware of this provision and they drive through the intersection without stopping first,” Moore said. “A couple of other things to consider [when the power is out]: street lights that illuminate the roadway could also be out, causing intersections and areas of the street to be darker than usual. This affects both a vehicle operator’s and pedestrian’s ability to see and be seen.”
Moore also warned that high winds may cause objects like tree branches or trash cans to be blown into the roadway.
“I would also advise them to slow their vehicle speed and take into account the reduced visibility and possible street obstructions that could be present during a storm,” Moore said.
More information about preparedness can be found at www.DelcoEMA.org.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.