It’s winter in Indiana. That means storms with wind, snow and ice. When high winds and ice combine, it can affect power lines in a unique way causing them to “gallop.” When ice accumulates on power lines, it forms a teardrop shape. If there are strong winds, the ice that builds up is only on one side of the power line, taking on the shape of an aerodynamic airplane wing, which results in the line lifting. This is known as “galloping,” which can potentially damage the lines, cause power outages and even poles to break.
If you see galloping power lines:
- Keep your distance — ice can break off or power lines can break loose.
- Contact your electric cooperative to let us know of the potential damage as soon as possible.
If you see a downed line:
- Stay far away and warn others to stay away.
- Remember, a downed line can remain energized even if it is not sparking or arcing.
- Always report the location of a downed power line and damaged electrical equipment to your electric cooperative.