With significant rainfall expected over the next few days, Alliant Energy urges customers to be safe around their electric and gas service if flooding occurs in their homes or businesses.
"Unfortunately, this spring has brought an increased risk of flooding with the combination of melting snow and significant rain," said Mark Hawley, safety director. "While we are hoping that flooding will be minimal, we do want customers to be both prepared and safe regarding their utility service if water does find its way into homes and businesses."
It is important for people to remember that walking through a wet or flooded home or business can be dangerous. Avoid walking through flooded backyards if water is touching ground-mounted electrical transformers or other equipment. Alliant Energy advises people to use extreme caution if this situation occurs and offers the --
Following guidelines to ensure safety:
? Never walk through a flooded home or building until the electricity is disconnected. Even a small amount of water on the floor of your basement can put you at risk for electrocution.
? Call Alliant Energy to have service disconnected at the meter. If flooding occurs and there is standing water in your home or business, and the power is still on, call Alliant Energy at 1-800-255-4268 to have power disconnected before you step into any standing water. Once the power is disconnected, it's safe to begin clean up.
? Call Alliant Energy to have your natural gas turned off, before you first go back inside your home after a flood. Standing water can extinguish pilot lights on water heaters and furnaces, filling your home with natural gas. Call Alliant Energy to have your home's natural gas service turned off.
? Never reuse a flooded natural gas appliance. Water can cause corrosion inside the appliance.
? Water and electricity can be a deadly combination. Do not place electrical extension cords or appliances in water.
? Never handle electric appliances or any other electric equipment, such as a circuit breaker, with wet hands or while standing on a wet surface.
? Make sure generators used for water removal are outside and vented properly. Keep extension cords from generators out of water.
If you smell gas . . .
? Do not attempt to locate gas leaks.
? Do not remain in your home or business when there is a strong gas odor.
? Leave the property and call 911 or Alliant Energy from a safe location, and keep others away until the area is safe.
? Do not operate any electrical device, including phones, garage door opener, radios, TVs, computers, or anything that creates a flame like matches or a lighter.
? Do not turn on or turn off any lights or electrical switches.
? Do not use telephones of any type, including cordless, cell or landline.
? Do not position or operate vehicles and power equipment where leaking gas may be present.
? Do not touch any fallen power lines and never touch anything in contact with a downed line.
Please note that Alliant Energy does not charge for flood-related disconnects and reconnects. Shutting off your gas and electric service during times of flooding is done for safety purposes. Alliant Energy will not charge you to have your service turned off when flooding occurs, or turned back on after the clean-up is done.
For more safety information, you can visit alliantenergy.com/safety or call Alliant Energy's Customer Service Center at 1-800-255-4268.