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Snake Slithers Into Equipment, Causes Power Outage For 16,000 People In US City

Power was later restored for all affected customers by 2 pm.

16,000 customers in US’ Austin were left without electricity when a snake slithered into a substation and came into contact with equipment. According to Matt Mitchell, a spokesman for Austin Energy, the outage began at 1 pm on May 16 and affected about 16,000 customers at its peak, Fox 7 Austin reported.

The incident happened when a snake slithered into one of the substations and made contact with an electrified circuit, causing the outage.

In a tweet, Austin Energy said, ”Wildlife interference can result in power outages. Today a snake crawled into one of our substations and made contact with an electrified circuit.”

Power was later restored for all affected customers by 2 pm.

”This wasn’t about the grid, it wasn’t about infrastructure, this was just about a particular bit of wildlife that was in the wrong place, at the wrong time and caused a pretty big headache for a lot of folks,”  Matt Mitchell, an Austin Energy spokesperson told CBS Austin.

He added that the company is now in the process of installing low-voltage electric snake fences around substations to keep slithering reptiles out.

”And hopefully, that will act as a deterrent for at least that particular bit of wildlife that can interfere with our operations. It’s never an easy thing to lose power. So we always want to respond as quickly as possible to safely restore. This one was a little bit more challenging because this particular snake took out several circuits that had to be reset, and we had to do some investigating to make sure that we had a clear understanding of what needed to be repaired. And once we did, the restoration process was fairly straightforward,” he said.

In a similar incident last year, around 10,000 homes in Japan were left without electricity after a snake slithered into an electric substation and fried itself to death. As per the investigators, the snake was still burning when it was found. It had come into contact with a live wire and as a result, smoke alarms were triggered and six fire trucks raced to the scene.