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Sneakers and Power Lines Don’t Mix

In the movie "Like Mike", which opens in theaters July 3, a young boy who dreams of becoming the next Michael Jordan attempts to retrieve an old pair of basketball shoes hanging from a power line.

Just as the boy grabs hold of the sneakers, lightning strikes a nearby pole and throws the teen to the ground. The “energized” shoes give the diminutive youth with limited skills super abilities on the basketball court.

“We hope parents make sure their kids know how dangerous it can be to play near power lines and other high-voltage electrical equipment,” said Utility Manager Dennis Westhuis. “While this scene is entertaining on the Hollywood screen, it can cause serious, even life-threatening, injuries in real life.”

Carrying thousands of volts of electricity, the power line in the movie is similar to the electrical distribution lines that serve Waupun.

“Give us a call anytime foreign objects — including kites, model airplanes, even a pair of old basketball shoes — get caught in a power line,” Westhuis said. “Our crews can help you safely retrieve whatever it is so no one gets hurt.”