Lessons learned from a downed powerline

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  • North Bench Fire arrived at the Deep Creek boat launch where there was a power line down. Photo by MANDI BATEMAN

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    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN North Bench Firefighter Granite Allinger on scene at a downed power line on Tuesday evening.

  • North Bench Fire arrived at the Deep Creek boat launch where there was a power line down. Photo by MANDI BATEMAN

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    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN North Bench Firefighter Granite Allinger on scene at a downed power line on Tuesday evening.

BONNERS FERRY — Sharon Bradley was birdwatching when she noticed something unusual at the Deep Creek Boat launch off Riverside Road on Tuesday evening: A wire across the parking lot that disappeared into the water on one side and ended at the restrooms on the other.

Bradley quickly realized it was a downed power line. She remembered a commercial she had seen that told kids they should report anything unusual that they see. Concerned for others safety, she called 9-1-1.

“I just thought I should report that. Do the right thing and call the police. You have got to do that. What if someone had gotten hurt?” said Bradley. “Anything unusual, you should report it. The wind broke a wire down. That is unusual. So I called 9-1-1. I thought, this could be serious. Someone could get electrocuted.”

North Bench Fire arrived on the scene shortly before 6 p.m. and quickly secured the area.

“We are denying access so nobody gets hurt. There is no arcing; we don’t know if it is live or not,” said North Bench Fire Chief Gus Jackson. “City Electric is on their way out.”

On his way to the scene, Jackson had a car tailgating him.

“I would like to remind drivers not to follow emergency vehicles, especially speeding, when they are going to call,” Jackson added.

The City of Bonners Ferry Electric Department responded to the scene and determined it was a neutral wire that was down. A splice had given out due to age and the long distance the wire extends over Deep Creek. The poles are far apart due to how high the river rises each year. The wire was fixed without incident.

The lessons learned for the day: report unusual things, especially ones that could threaten other people; and do not follow emergency vehicles, especially when they are speeding on their way to a scene.

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