Snake Knocks Out Power in Gloucester County

September 23, 2016

By Paula Bernier - Executive Editor, TMC

Beavers, birds, monkeys, raccoons, snakes, squirrels, weasels – all of these lovely creatures have at one point or another been credited with power outages.

News out of Gloucester County, NJ, this week offers one such example. More than 9,000 people reportedly lost power in the area after a snake slithered into some equipment owned by Dominion Virginia Power. The good news is that the company was able to restore power within an hour.

This happened just a few months after two snake-related outages in Rock Hill, S.C. Most recently, a black rat snake that entered a power station turned off power to thousands of people. That was in June. A couple of months prior to that, two black snakes did something similar, effecting 6,000 customers.

However, it may be the mighty squirrel that is credited with the most power outages, at least according to a website called Cyber Squirrel 1. (The site maps squirrel-produced outages from around the world and sells $5 stickers featuring a squirrel holding a disconnected plug.)

“I don't think paralysis [of the electrical grid] is more likely by cyberattack than by natural disaster. And frankly the No. 1 threat experienced to date by the U.S. electrical grid is squirrels,” said John C. Inglis, former deputy director of the National Security Agency (News - Alert), as quoted by Cyber Squirrel 1.

Indeed. While many of us spend a lot of time worrying about threats like terrorism that have a miniscule chance of impacting us personally, rodents are running wild and adversely impacting our nation’s key infrastructure.

For example, as Inquisitr reported early this year, a squirrel caused a five-hour power outage in Wagoner, Okla., on Jan. 4, 2016. That was just two days after a squirrel wiped out power to 2,000 in Evansville, Ind., stopping traffic on the Lloyd Expressway. The piece goes on to say that beavers, birds, raccoons, rates, and snakes caused something like 214 power disruptions in 2015.

While there’s no way to completely eliminate the hassles that can result from these forces of nature, one measure businesses can take to ensure they stay up and running in the event of such an event is to deploy a universal power supply.

Edited by Alicia Young

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