Snake, transformer to blame for Roanoke Co. power outages
May 16, 2014
Don’t blame the squirrel this time.
Appalachian Power spokeswoman Teresa Hamilton Hall said it was a five-foot-long black snake that caused roughly 3,900 customers in Roanoke County to lose power
this afternoon, not the oft-blamed squirrel that frequently is the source of power disruptions.
Hall said the snake - which reportedly survived - slithered into a substation and tripped a transformer
earlier this afternoon.
Hall said electricity was restored around 2:30 p.m.
There was no immediate word on the snake’s condition, Hall said.
The roughly 600 or so customers who remain without power in west Roanoke County because of a separate transformer failure on Thursday should have service restored by 3 p.m., Hall said.
About 2,300 customers were without power late Thursday as a result of the failure, but crews were able to lower that number by transferring about 1,700 customers to other grids, Hall said.
The utility is working to bring in a mobile transformer to install at a nearby distribution station, Hall said. After that, a new, permanent transformer can be installed.
Hall said crews aren’t yet sure if the transformer’s failure was weather-related.
Other areas didn’t appear to be significantly affected by power outages after Thursday’s heavy rains and wind gusts. In Salem, where the city runs its own electric service - spokesman Mike Stevens said there were no reported outages.