VA - Snake Causes Brief Power Outage : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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Personal note: The critter rebellion continues...


Friday, July 21, 2000 Snake Causes Very Brief Power Outage

By Tina McCloud Daily Press

A sneaky snake slithered into a substation Wednesday night, and it was lights out for about 10,000 Virginia Power customers. And the snake.

The snake met its maker at 9:54 p.m. after it wound up on a piece of equipment that short-circuited. The substation is on Route 14 near Ware Neck in Gloucester, said utility spokeswoman Patty Campbell.

A device called a snake guard, which has a low-voltage charge designed to discourage entry of the critters, is around most of the substation, but not at the entrance gate, Campbell said.

About 1,600 customers were in the dark only about 90 seconds. Power was restored to the rest about 11:05 p.m., Campbell said.

Before the snake short, another 1,400 customers on the Middle Peninsula were without power Wednesday evening due to wind, lightning and downed tree limbs as storms moved through the region.

Those outages were scattered; there were 21 different repair jobs to restore power, Campbell said.

The snake problem was the second wildlife-inspired blackout on the Middle Peninsula in three weeks.

On June 29, a stick or branch from an osprey nest atop a 60-foot power pole in Mathews fell onto the wires, starting a fire. About 730 customers were without power for up to 10 hours.

WXGM-99.1 contributed to this article.

Tina McCloud can be reached at (804) 642-1746 or by e-mail at

-- (, July 21, 2000

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