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Woodside: Officials still puzzled by no arcing when high-voltage wires fell on car

Original post made on Jul 31, 2014

When a Woodside eucalyptus tree fell on July 24 and took down a 60,000-volt power line that draped itself over a car, why were there no arcs and sparks when the women in the car decided to get out?

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, July 31, 2014, 11:12 AM

Comments (6)

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Posted by Just a Neighbor
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on Jul 31, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Rubber soled shoes?

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Posted by Science and Physics
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 31, 2014 at 3:06 pm

If the passenger did not touch any metal parts while stepping on the ground then they would not be a conductor, (be electrocuted). The door handle is not necessarily electrically conductive.
If the wires are touching the ground already, as the report state, the car would not be electrically charged.
The statement that firefighters have seen high voltage arks of over 12 feet may be accurate, however, 60,000 volts is what spark plugs in your car use, even more. You don't see sparks jumping out from your engine. The only way to get an arc of that size is to ionize the air and make it more conductive. Web Link .
At sea level 30,000 volts will jump 1 cm. 60,000 volts will jump 2 cm.
Science seems to evade our culture.

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 31, 2014 at 3:34 pm

A little further down in that explanation of arcing distances is this ...

"30000 V/cm is a guide, but you should never rely on that to keep you safe -- to put it another way, it'd be pretty stupid to stand just a few feet away from a charged 10kV capacitor bank on a humid day, and point at it: if you're lucky you'll just lose a finger. Play it safe, be very very careful, and ALWAYS have someone working with you or watching you, preferably someone who knows CPR."

They should have stayed in the car.

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Posted by April
a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2014 at 10:38 am

God was protecting her.

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Posted by Alexander
a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2014 at 1:32 pm

That's hilarious, April!

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Posted by Dean
a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2014 at 6:52 am

No worries April,Alexander will know in his own time.

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