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Squirrel sparks outage
WILLIAM J. GIBBS JR. —
Workers from CPS Energy and the Floresville Electric Light & Power System perform repairs June 5 following a power failure.
Wilson County NewsJune 11, 2014 3,629 views 3 comments
FLORESVILLE -- Officials with the Floresville Electric Light & Power System (FELPS) say it was a squirrel that caused a midday power outage June 5 that lasted for approximately 2-1/2 hours.
FELPS General Manager Kyle Dicke said that the wayward rodent found its way into a bus tie switch at a substation on A Street in Floresville. When the squirrel attempted to cross between two points of the switch at approximately 10:30 a.m., a malfunction occurred. Much of eastern and downtown Floresville was without electricity, as were the city of Poth and most points in between, he said.
Crews from FELPS, assisted by personnel from San Antonio-based CPS Energy, worked amid 90-plus-degree outdoor temperatures to restore power just after 1 p.m. Dicke said the workers transferred the electrical load from the damaged transformer to another one within the substation as a temporary fix, with permanent repairs set for completion the next day.
Squirrels and other pests continue to plague one area of the substation, where a box structure that holds equipment responsible for most of the system’s electrical load could predate FELPS’ creation in the early 1940s. Workers over the years have installed barriers to prevent animal intrusion, but squirrels, pigeons, doves, snakes, and owls occasionally find their way around the deterrents.
Dicke said updating equipment at all FELPS substations -- including those in Eagle Creek, Falls City, and Sutherland Springs -- is part of the utility’s long-range plan. Such repairs likely will be funded by bonds, which could be issued within the next year.
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June 11, 2014 10:14pm
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