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Outages: Expect the Unexpected

Although weather is the most common cause, there are a variety of reasons the power might unexpectedly go out. With a little knowledge and a few precautions, you can weather unexpected outages safely with minimal inconvenience, while our crews take care of repairs.

How It Happens: Common Causes

Whether equipment fails or lightning strikes, an interruption to the power network causes an outage. The reasons for outages are many, and can affect the length of time it takes to bring electricity back to your home. Interested in seeing some of the most common outage culprits?

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Common Causes of Outages

  • Storms: Wind, heat, ice, and snow are the most common causes of widespread power outages.
  • Trees: During high winds, or trimming by an untrained professional, limbs can come into contact with power lines, causing interruptions. Visit Tree Trimming to learn more about safety and why planting trees near power lines is a bad idea.
  • Vehicles: A vehicle collision with a utility pole can cause a power outage. Visit Power Line Safety for tips on handling these very dangerous situations.
  • Earthquakes: Quakes of all sizes can damage electrical facilities and power lines. Visit Earthquakes for more information on staying safe during these natural disasters.
  • Animals: Although we place barriers between wildlife and electricity equipment, squirrels, snakes, and other small animals may still cause power lines to short circuit.
  • Lightning: When lightning strikes electrical equipment, transmission towers, wires, and poles, outages can occur.
  • Excavation Digging: Sometimes,underground cables are disturbed by digging. Check out Safety in the Yard and stay safe while gardening or placing fence posts.
  • High Power Demand. During heat waves and other times of unusually high power demand, overburdened electric cables, transformers, and other electrical equipment can melt and fail.

When It Happens: What to Do

There are steps you can take to keep your home or business and family safe and comfortable during an unexpected outage. Get informed about how to prepare for unexpected power loss, how to avoid danger, and how to cope until electricity is restored.

When It Happens: What to Do Learn More