(RepublicanPress.org) – According to Weather.gov, ice storms are some of the most difficult weather conditions to forecast, making it equally as hard to prepare for such harsh conditions. These unpredictable situations can also create additional hazards like traffic accidents, falling trees, and downed powerlines.
On January 18th, USA Today reported the deaths of three people in Portland, Oregon — two adults and one teenager. Firefighters responded to a call regarding a downed powerline and possible electrocution. An ice storm in the area reportedly knocked down a branch that hit a powerline, causing it to land on a parked car with people inside. There were three people in the vehicle — a mom, a dad, and a baby. They exited the vehicle safely, but as they were walking up the hill, the man slipped, and the woman tried to grab him. His foot reportedly touched the hot wire, and both the mother and father were electrocuted. The baby survived.
The third victim was 15-year-old Ta’Ron Briggs, a Milwaukie High School 10th grader and the brother of the woman in the car. He and his father, Ronald Briggs, heard the commotion, and the teen went to try and help. While Mr. Briggs warned his son not to go near the scene, he did anyway and slipped. He touched the electrified water and also died. Sadly, Mr. Briggs witnessed the whole event.
Rick Graves of Portland Fire and Rescue took the time to remind residents they should never go near downed wires. He said if a powerline comes down onto a vehicle, passengers should stay inside and call help. Graves said the rubber on the tires grounds the car and keeps people safe inside. He added that emergency services will arrive to de-energize the line. Once that happens, they will give the all-clear for people to emerge.
The 9-month-old was taken to a local hospital for evaluation, but Graves reported the baby was fine.
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