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MidAmerican Energy News

MidAmerican Energy Offers Flood Safety Tips

DES MOINES, Iowa – (March 14, 2016) – The National Weather Service has designated March 14 to 18 as Flood Safety Awareness Week. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States – they can happen at any time and anywhere – and damages can total in the billions of dollars each year, according to the National Flood Insurance Program.

MidAmerican Energy Company is reminding the public that flooding poses serious risks to customers and our utility infrastructure. To help customers prepare for potential spring floods, MidAmerican Energy is offering the following tips for flood readiness:

Know the risks
Seasonal floods, flash flooding and isolated home flooding events can impair the safe operation of natural gas equipment and appliances. Additionally, when outlets or cords are submerged, flood waters can cause electrocution and fires. Only a few inches of water in a basement or around a structure can cause risks. Unplug and move appliances to a higher level, but do not approach or unplug equipment if the floor is already wet.

“When it comes to flooding, two things cause concern for MidAmerican Energy: the damage that flooding can cause to equipment and the chance we’ll lose access to a property to disconnect services as water rises,” added Jerry Hempel, general manager, of gas operations.

If gas and electric services are turned off in time, risks of shock, natural gas leaks and property damage fall significantly.

Suspend service early
“Customers should call before water is threatening their homes,” said Tom Wilson, general manager, of electric operations. “MidAmerican Energy does not charge customers for shutting off or restarting service when there is flooding. It keeps customers and their homes safe, and helps us avoid major issues in the long run.”

If your home is threatened by water, customers should contact MidAmerican Energy at 888-427-5632 to have electric and gas services disabled. When there is time, MidAmerican Energy crews will work with local officials and emergency responders to shut off service before neighborhoods have flooded.

After a flood
When re-entering a home, emergency responders and residents should be aware that electric lines and natural gas pipelines can be hiding in water that has flooded a building. Do not enter an area when water is covering electrical outlets, if you hear snapping or humming, or smell natural gas. Call 911 and MidAmerican Energy if you do.

“Once the water recedes, property owners should have walls, meters and appliances inspected by a professional. Water-damaged equipment must be replaced,” Hempel said.

About MidAmerican Energy Company
MidAmerican Energy Company provides electric service to 752,000 customers and natural gas service to 733,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available on the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via MidAmerican Energy Company's website.