News Releases

Electrocution incident reminds of importance of safety around power lines

January 21, 2020

Columbus, Neb. – A recent incident that resulted in a Kearney resident getting electrocuted was fortunately not fatal but reminds every one of the importance of safety around power lines.

The incident occurred over the weekend when the resident attempted to work on or near a power pole and suffered injuries from electrocution after getting too close to the power lines.

“The safety of our teammates and our customers is our highest priority. We cannot stress enough that the general public needs to stay away from power lines and stay off any associated equipment in order to avoid injury,” says Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) Director of Delivery Art Wiese. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the resident who was injured, and we hope injuries like this can be avoided in the future.”

NPPD wants to use this opportunity to remind people that it is important to be safety minded when working around power lines. Minimum clearance distances (meaning how close you, or anything you are touching, should come to a utility-owned power line), is 10 feet, and goes up to 20 feet at the higher voltages in NPPD’s system.  In addition, if you come across a downed power line it is important to stay clear of the area and notify your local public power district immediately so that they can deenergize the line.

“Winter storms can cause power lines to get knocked down, and it is just as important for the general public to be aware of the danger of these situations as it is for those who are working around power lines,” noted Wiese. “If you come across a powerline that looks like it has been damaged, stay away from the area and call the power district as soon as you can. It is critical to let trained professionals handle the situation and avoid severe, and potentially fatal, injuries.”

NPPD encourages the public to be aware in storm conditions this winter and review numerous safety tips on its website at NPPD customers can call 1-877-ASK-NPPD or go to to report an outage or damaged power line.