Severe weather conditions, such as lightning, wind, ice, or even extreme cold, are the most common reasons for power outages. Lightning can damage our electrical equipment and the wind and ice knock trees and branches onto the lines and equipment. Also, extremely cold temperatures increase the load on our electric system due to more energy being used to heat all our members’ homes.
Animals and vehicle accidents are other frequent causes for outages. Squirrels, birds and snakes are the usual culprits that chew on the power lines or crawl into substation equipment. Vehicles and tractors occasionally hit poles or pull down overhead power lines. These are causes of outages and are also incredibly dangerous. If a downed power line comes in contact with your vehicle, remain in your vehicle and call 911 as the ground around your vehicle may be energized.
To learn more about why power outages happen, read this Q&A article with Camryn Batchelor, System Engineer at Piedmont Electric.