Snake on electric pole causes power outage in Quail Creek area


June 11, 2010 at 1:11 a.m.

About 429 Victoria residents lost power Thursday night after a chicken snake sat on an electric pole sectionalizer, said Elgin Janssen, American Electric Poer manager of community affairs in Victoria.

"The chicken snake was searching for chicks in a bird's nest," Janssen said of the outage, which occurred from about 9:40 p.m. to 1:05 a.m. in the Quail Creek area. "It was because the snake was on that particular piece of equipment that it affected that many customers. If it had been on a transformer, it would've only affected between five to 20 customers."

Janssen estimated the snake to be about five feet long.

Sectionalizers, typically about 20 to 25 feet from the ground, automatically isolate a faulty section of the line from the rest of a distribution system, he said.

This is the third outage AEP experienced this month in the Quail Creek area, he said.

Tree limbs getting into powerlines caused the first two outages on June 5 and 6, Janssen said.

About 34 homes were affected by those first two outages, he said.

The tree limbs have been removed.



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