'Expert Tree Feller' Causes Randolph EMC Outage
Crews responded to repair damage done by an industrious beaver
Nationally, about 10 percent of electric co-op power outages are caused by animals. North Carolina’s electric co-ops deal with their share of animal-related outages, including those from squirrels, birds, snakes, raccoons, nesting insects — even cows (which get some amount of satisfaction from scratching their backs on the guy-wires used to add stability to power poles).
“Animal related outages can certainly be unique,” said Dale Lambert, CEO of Asheboro-based Randolph EMC. “We had a member a few years ago who was experiencing a higher than usual number of outages. When we investigated, we found that his large bull had been rubbing against the guy-wire in his pasture, causing the conductor to hit together and blow the fuse on his line. To this date, he still thinks I was shooting him a line of — well, you know. But I witnessed it with my own eyes when I worked in the field as a lineman.”
Randolph EMC added a new one to its list on December 12.
“At 9:55 that morning, a large outage occurred, affecting 377 members in the Eastwood/ Murdocksville area of Moore County. Our crews responded to the outage to find a tree on the three-phase line,” Lambert said. “This, in and of itself, is not unusual. But the reason the tree fell was unusual. One of the expert tree fellers of the animal kingdom — a beaver — turned out to be the culprit.”
The perpetrator left irrefutable evidence at the scene (see photo). Randolph EMC crews responded quickly, however, and power was restored in 37 minutes.
Outage information for cooperative members