Sneaky Snake Leads to Power Purge

June 12, 2015

By Rory J. Thompson - Web Editor

While it might be true that lightning never strikes twice in the same place, the same can’t always be said for certain reptiles. At least that seems to be the case in a North Carolina town called Apex (News - Alert), where a snake in search of a meal accidentally instead caused a power outage this week.

According to a report in the Raleigh NewsObserver, the snake apparently worked its way into an electrical substation on East Williams Street sometime Wednesday evening. While looking around for eggs in an existing bird’s nest, the errant reptile came in contact with something it shouldn’t have, caused a short and blacked out some 1,200 homes.

When snakes, squirrels or other common culprits become an unwitting conductor of electricity, power shuts off to prevent any damage to the transformer, Brandon Boone, electric utilities manager, told the NewsObserver.

Oddly enough, the same thing happened before.

“This happened last year, too,” Stacie Galloway, the town’s spokeswoman, told the paper. “I’m serious; This exact same thing.” The town has mesh fencing around its electric substations to keep snakes from entering. But the intruder got through and tripped an emergency shut-off anyway.

Personnel responding to the scene said they found a deceased black snake, and figured out what happened.

No matter what the cause, the incident drives home the message that businesses and residences alike need to keep a UPS, or uninterruptible power supply at the ready for just such occurrences.

Aside from maintaining power when necessary, a UPS prevents data loss and offers surge protection. The UPS automatically switches to AC-generated battery power, preventing the spike or surge from harming whatever is connected to it. A UPS also prevents power fluctuations. Minuteman UPS/Para Systems (News - Alert) is a provider of unique power protection solutions and offers an array of products, from outlet surge protectors to UPSs.

Whatever you’re trying to power, it pays to have a backup system in place. 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino