In a flooding event (i.e. hurricane, etc.), do officials preemptively shut off electricity to prevent electrocution from downed power lines? If not, how don’t people get injured?

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In a flooding event (i.e. hurricane, etc.), do officials preemptively shut off electricity to prevent electrocution from downed power lines? If not, how don’t people get injured?

In: Earth Science

No. People need electricity to power things that provide info about the storm or disaster and there is also the need for it to power medical equipment. It’s also not easy to just shut off an areas power without shutting down other areas power.

No, they don’t. In lots of areas power lines are buried cables. We never lost power at my house during Ike. My house was surrounded by water for 5 days.

On the other hand if a line falls and it shorts out there are massive breakers that disable that line. It’s called a recloser and they keep the current from flowing through ponded water.

I’m a power line electrician, depending on the grid they can’t just disconnect power lines, plus people still need power even with a flood happening, most of the time ground level transformers that power blocks of houses will just blow or short out and cut power to homes that way, if it’s pole mounted transformers then the house panel will most likely trip and kill power to the house before anybody gets electrocuted. But this is not a guarantee and people still die from electrocution in a flood, in a flood power will not be cut so if you’re in that situation BEFORE the flood hits cut the power off in your house from your main panel, after that stay on high ground and DO NOT go anywhere near a downed power line.

People do get injured from electrical equipment. The first death from Ida has already been reported (although that was a downed tree). There will be many more, and some will be from electrocution. Other people will die from lack of electricity because they need it to power medical equipment. New Orleans has reported that its entire power grid is out, including the pumps for sewers. That’ll be fun for weeks to come.

When it flooded here they turned off all the power to downtown before the water rose. It was dark, still gives me chills just writing it.