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Blackout blamed on flying snake

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andrew_m

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Residents of the West Mesa in Las Cruces were affected by an early morning power outage Tuesday caused by what an electric company official described as a freak accident.
According to El Paso Electric Co. spokeswoman Teresa Souza, about 2,000 customers in the Picacho Hills West area lost power when a bird dropped a bull snake on a power line, shorting out the line.
The outage occurred about 8:44 a.m. and power was restored to the area less than an hour later, Souza said.
"I know that's weird," Souza said. "... I've never heard anything like that and I've been working here for 10 years."
According to the online encyclopedia wikipedia.org, bull snakes are common in New Mexico. The non-venomous reptile can grow as large as 7 feet long.
Souza could not specify how large the snake was that caused the power outage and did not speculate what kind of bird might have been involved.
Only In New Mexico...
 

nd5y

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Souza could not specify how large the snake was that caused the power outage and did not speculate what kind of bird might have been involved.
That's because he had not yet seen the picture of the bird and snake... Link
 
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MacombMonitor

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I find it difficult to believe that their electrical infrastructure is so vulnerable that something like that would have such an impact.
 

jmp883

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MacombMonitor wrote:

I find it difficult to believe that their electrical infrastructure is so vulnerable that something like that would have such an impact.
It's not so much a question of vulnerability, it's just that when something shorts the substation to ground outside of the engineered path things are going to go kerflooey...

My partner and I were sitting at the dispatch console one Sunday morning around 5am. We heard a distant boom and a split second later our lights flickered and the emergency generator kicked on. Next thing we get inundated by phone calls reporting the power is out and that there is a fire at a substation just up the street from HQ. The FD and power company respond and after the fire is extinguished they inform us the fire and blackout occured when a squirrel jumped from a high-voltage line that ran close to the ground and grounded himself out. His rear legs never left the H.V. line and as soon as his front legs hit the ground....ZAP!

It happens......:D
 
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You'd think they would erect some sort of netting around those places and put the slightest trickle of current into it to keep the animals out....or would that just create a cage of lightning with such ferocious storms as to render the area unhinabitable by any life whatsoever?
 

kb2vxa

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Hi all,

"BBQ snake.......taste like chicken!!!"

Are you Receiver Beaver in disguise? (;->)

I'll go with the one who said the electrical distribution system is highly vulnerable, that sort of thing just shouldn't happen. Ordinarily the snake, squirrel or whatever would just go up in a puff of smoke or the worst case scenario would be a temporary outage for a minute or so until the automatic breaker resets.

Quite a few years ago I was waiting for a train on an elevated platform watching a squirrel atop a pole transformer, then the expected happened, Rocky crashed and burned. Natasha wept as Boris grinned, Bullwinkle is now retired and living back in Frostbite Falls with his friends Gidney and Croyd. Oh, with all the TV antennas being replaced with cable, the metal munching mice from Mars went home, never to be seen again.
 
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