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How trees near power lines cause electrical outages

It's a rainy, windy night, and just as you are getting ready for bed the electricity in your home goes off. It's possible a tree is at fault.

Many power outages are caused when tree branches fall onto power lines. Safety devices then shut off electricity to the lines. Electricity will go off in any homes or businesses served by the power lines until the electric utility can remove the branch and fix the lines.

Why does the electricity get shut off? If it weren't, electricity could travel from the power line and through the tree branch. Anyone that touches the tree, the power line, or even the ground nearby would be badly hurt or killed.

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