Downed live wires trap woman in Vancouver home for 3 days

Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 5:32 PM PST
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VANCOUVER Wash. (KPTV) - A Vancouver, Wash. woman was trapped in her home for three days after severe winds filled her yard with live power lines on Tuesday, she said.

Brenda Phares said the storm blew down a tree near her home.

“I’m sitting on the porch and I stand up when I hear this great big crack because a tree broke up there behind our yard and continued to fall on the wires,” Phares said. “First off, I ran into the house because all of a sudden all these wires are whipping around the yard onto the garage and in front of the garage and I wasn’t gonna stay out there.”

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Phares said the tree fell onto powerlines, yanking the wires down and breaking a power pole. The pole and transformer smashed her car.

“All the wires from this pole here and all the wires from that pole on the top of the hill,” Phares said. “All of those came whipping at the same time and it literally whipped right over the garage and right over the house.”

She called 911 and when crews arrived, they told her the lines in her yard and porch were live. But they couldn’t help until Thursday, leaving her trapped inside.

“They said ‘don’t touch anything metal in your house,’” Phares said. “I used big rubber gloves and wore big rubber boots so I can start my fireplace. I made this makeshift thing to make myself some food and some tea. Kept my couch warm and I actually slept pretty well.”

But Phares said she recently had surgery and needed her car for doctor appointments.

“I don’t have a lot of money and it’s right after Christmas, that’s what breaks my heart,” she said. “I’m also thankful that I had the house full of people on Christmas day and it didn’t happen that day ‘cause nobody would’ve been able to leave.”

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Phares also said she was grateful she wasn’t babysitting her grandson that day.

Power crews say if a power pole falls, call 911 and stay inside.