Three Live Power Lines Arcing, Jumping at Macy's Sunday (Photos)
The fire department said a man even walked right up to the high voltage power lines.
That blue and green light seen in the sky Sunday night was caused by three high voltage power lines that were arcing and jumping around the parking lot of Macy's, said Fire Lt. Thad Krejci, who responded to the call Sunday night.
Stow Fire Capt. Mark Stone said the most likely cause for the downed lines was the wind and weather Sunday night.
"We do see things like this more often in icy and windy weather," he said.
Stone said he first saw it when he was in Tallmadge.
"I was heading back home and was worried it was something even bigger than a power line. It lit up the entire northeastern sky ... I was near Darrow and Howe Roads," he said.
At 6:52 p.m. Jan. 29, the fire department dispatched Engine 3 to the Kent Road location. Ohio Edison was called in, but the fire department secured the area for about an hour for them to arrive, Stone said.
"Their biggest challenge was keeping curious onlookers away from the downed wires," he said. "They said they actually had a bystander walk toward the wires from an adjacent business and had to notify him of the dangers involved."
Downed power lines, especially ones that are arcing and jumping around on wet ground, are seriously dangerous.
"People need to be aware that especially in conditions such as last night, wet saturated ground that is frozen with ice and snow, dangerous amounts of electricity can travel through the ground great distances and severely injure or kill onlookers," said Stone. "Electricity has also been known to travel along guardrails and other man-made objects that bystanders may be touching. We cannot see electricity and therefore do not know if a downed line is energized or not. We must always assume that any downed power line is energized and dangerous."
If there is a downed power line, call 911 or contact First Energy: call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) in emergency situations. See the attached .pdf for more information from the American Electic Power Ohio website about keeping a safe distance from fallen wires.
Many reported that their power flashed on and off when the incident happened. According to the First Energy power outage map, no one in Stow is without power. On Sunday evening, there were 500 or less without power in the area.