The outage, which began mid-morning, affected 3,580 homes and stretched from Kingsbury Avenue to the Perimeter Freeway. Power was restored around 11:15 a.m., according to the utility.
On Twitter, Manitoba Hydro said a squirrel was the cause of the outage.
493 power cuts because of squirrels
While the idea of a squirrel causing a power outage sounds unusual, it’s not uncommon. These little rodents caused 493 power outages last year, according to Manitoba Hydro spokesperson Riley McDonald.
Wild animals are, in fact, one of the main reasons behind power cuts in the province, he explains by e-mail. They are also the first to be listed in the category of elements coming into contact with power lines, which represent 15% of power cuts, according to statistics. (New window) published on the energy company’s website.
The squirrel being a rodent, one could believe that its gluttony is at the origin of the power cuts, imagining that it devours the electric cables. But then, it would be a false trial of these little animals, because the reason is quite different.
Basically, an animal causes a power outage by depending on two pieces of electrically separate equipment. For example, a bird’s wings can connect two power lines, and it causes a short circuit and a power outageillustrates Riley McDonald.
In this case, the survival of the animal is very unlikely.
Animals that cause these kinds of breakdowns, including the squirrel [de ce mardi]not survivinghe points out.
Measures taken to keep animals away
Given the number of wild animals that live in the province, Manitoba Hydro had to put in place devices to repel or deter them from approaching power lines and to prevent power outages from stopping too often at because of them.
We have put plastic shields around equipment that often comes into contact with animals. In some cases, reflective tape and shutters are used to prevent birds from landingsays Riley McDonald.
Manitoba Hydro has also incorporated nesting platforms near its towers towards Lake Winnipeg to allow ospreys to nest away from its facilities.
We do everything we can to try to prevent power outages caused by animals, but they are unpredictablefinished Riley McDonald.