With the National Weather Service Portland forecasting gusty winds and rain tonight through noon Tuesday, Emerald People’s Utility District is cautioning customers about downed power lines.

“These winds could bring down trees, branches and power lines, said Patty Jo Angelini, public relations coordinator. “Power lines often look identical to cable or phone wires, which is why EPUD warns people to stay far away from all downed lines. If you see a downed line, assume that it has electricity coursing through it and STAY AWAY.”

“Not only is a live power line deadly if you touch it, it can severely injure or kill you if you get too close. We don’t want our customers getting near it to take a photo. Just call us or go online to report the downed line,” she said.

EPUD is gearing up for outages and calls on its customers to do the same.

“If you haven’t already done so, figure out what you’ll do if you lose power. Think about your family’s specific needs when determining back-up plans and decide if you’ll need to relocate in the event of a power outage. This is especially important for those with health care issues or who require life support equipment,” Angelini said.