Downed power line in Clay County causes firefighter scare

A downed power line started a grass fire in Clay County Friday.
A downed power line started a grass fire in Clay County Friday.(MGN)
Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 4:02 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 1, 2022 at 4:29 PM CDT
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EDGAR, Neb. (KSNB) - It was a close call for a local firefighter in Clay County Friday morning.

Clay County Emergency Manager Tim Lewis told Local4 that a downed power line sparked a fire at about 11:30 a.m. Friday morning, just northeast of Edgar.

In the smoke and confusion, an Edgar Volunteer Fire Department grass rig contacted the power line, but it was de-energized. The driver escaped unharmed and there was no damage to the fire truck.

Safety experts say that if your vehicle comes into contact with a downed power line it’s important to stay inside the vehicle because the rubber tires will prevent electrocution; if the line is still live.

Lewis said a few acres of farmland and ditch were burned near the path of the downed power lines.

Nebraska Public Power District spokesperson Grant Otten said a power line fell down and then came in contact with a nearby South Central Rural Public Power district line. The reason for the failure was not immediately clear, but Otten said the line was scheduled for maintenance next week.

South Central District Operations Manager Dale Endorf said the 345KV powerline came down on a 7500 volt line, which caused the fire. Endorf said customers between Edgar and Ong lost power for a brief time in the middle of the day.

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