Strong and severe Midwestern storms can bring very heavy rainfall in a short period of time – leaving many of us watching our basements for flooding.
Walking through a wet or flooded basement can be dangerous. To be safe, you should always assume that basement flood water is energized.
Never walk through a flooded area until the electricity is disconnected
Even a small amount of water on the floor of your basement can put you at risk for electrocution. While electricity is often needed to run the sump pumps and wet-vacs that help remove water from the basement, the risk of electrical shock is too high.
Safety experts suggest using a generator to power your sump pump or wet/dry vacuum instead. Generators also come with safety concerns, so learn more about generator safety before operating one. Never run extension cords through water.
Call Alliant Energy to have service disconnected at the meter.
If there is standing water in your home, call your electric company to have power disconnected before you step into any standing water. Once the power is disconnected, it’s safe to begin clean up.
When you are ready to reconnect your service, call your power company. Be sure to have a certified electrician inspect your system for damage before calling to be reconnected.
If your basement floods, have your natural gas turned off
Standing water can snuff out pilot lights on hot water heaters and furnaces. If this occurs, natural gas may collect in your home, creating the risk of an explosion.
If your basement floods, call your utility company to have your home’s natural gas service turned off. After the water recedes, have your furnace and water heater inspected by a professional. Then call your utility to have the service turned back on.