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Saturated Ground in Flood-Affected Areas Presents Greater Risk for Downed Trees, Beware of Power Lines

Saturated Ground in Flood-Affected Areas Presents Greater Risk for Downed Trees, Beware of Power Lines

Volunteers Should Bring Own Protective Gear

KOOCHICHING COUNTY, MINNESOTA ~~~~~  June 9, 2022 (LSNews)     Local utilities have been working with the Koochiching County Emergency Operations Center as a partner in flood response. With the saturated soil conditions due to extended flood conditions, trees can become weaker as the root base doesn’t have the holding power they normally have, making them much more susceptible to strong winds. Trees and power lines are never a good combination.

Because of the dangers associated with power and utility lines, extreme care must be taken when working around them, including when removing trees near a power line.


 Don’t approach them
Fallen trees and branches are unstable and could shift or fall without warning. Downed trees that are entangled in power lines are an electrocution and fire hazard. Even if you assume the line is de-energized, there may be a generator running somewhere on the circuit.

 Live wires that are tangled in branches can also transmit a charge to the surrounding ground, meaning you may be electrocuted even if you don’t directly touch or walk on the downed lines due to step potential. Any downed wires or trees contacting a wire should be considered energized and dangerous.

Your best course of action is to stay away, call the utility provider and let them determine the safest way to make the scene safe so the tree can be removed:

Minnesota Power

Report an outage or emergency by phone: Toll Free 1-800-228-4966

Report an outage online:

North Star Electric Cooperative

Power Outage/After Hour Emergencies - Toll Free 1-888-668-8243

If you are experiencing an emergency call 911

Volunteers Should Bring Own Protective Gear, Reserve List of Sandbag Placement Volunteers Needed

Volunteers coming from out of town to assist with sandbag placement at flooded properties are encouraged to come prepared with rubber boots, hip boots and/or chest waders, along with sunscreen and bug spray. Items such as boots and waders are not available locally and protective sundries like sunscreen and bug spray are in limited supply.  

The Koochiching County Emergency Operations Center is anticipating additional severe weather before flood conditions peak. Storms and severe weather could add to already difficult conditions. To be prepared for additional flood management needs, a volunteer reserve list is being developed. If groups and individuals are willing to volunteer to assist with sandbag placement in the coming weeks, please call the Flood Information Hotline at 218-283-6755 and leave your name and contact information. Volunteer groups are asked to appoint a single point of contact for the group.


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