Keep your family, pets safe from downed wires

Posted at 7:48 PM, Dec 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-29 19:48:39-05

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. -- The wind certainly made its presence known Monday night. It knocked down trees and utility poles, and it caused power outages to thousands of homes across West Michigan.

"All night. All night. It was cold," Muskegon Heights resident, Julie Hite said.

Two poles snapped behind her home on Jefferson Street in Muskegon.

"Electricity went out," she said she gave Consumers Energy a call to get her power turned on.

"They said 'as soon as possible,'" Hite said.

She said Consumers restored her power around 10 o' clock Tuesday morning. However, the poles were still broken, and a mess of lines were drooping into her yard and on the ground.

Hite said, "They're still down. You see that mess back there? Yea, they're still down back there."

Not knowing the difference between the lines running from her and her neighbor's home, she was concerned they're hazardous. Roger Morgenstern with Consumers Energy said Hite did the right thing by staying away from the lines. He said you should call 911 and the power company.

"Don't make the assumption that that line is not energized or that it's just a cable or a phone line. Let us come out and check it out. If it is energized, we will put caution tape around it or have an individual there guarding the wire," Morgenstern explained.

It turns out that the lines were not electrified. Morgenstern said they are phone lines and that Consumers crews made sure of that before they left her house and headed to the next job.

He explained, "When we're very busy like we've been the last 12 hours, we'll do visual inspections and if we know that it's a communications wire - because our experts are out there - but if it is live we will make sure it is guarded and taped off until it is made safe."

The bottom line: the lines down in Hite's yard were just plain phone and cable lines and were not dangerous. However, Morgenstern said contact Consumers if you're concerned about any type of downed wire. He said you can call them at 1-800-477-5050.