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Old May 16th, 2014 #212
Alex Linder
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,352
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder

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.