This time of year makes it tough for people in certain parts of the US. On the west coast you will have a lot of big forest fires that crews are fighting, The Carolinas on the east coast are just getting over Hurricane Florence and the flooding that combined to effect a lot of lives, there is even a series of gad line explosions going on in Massachusetts that is not helping matters. And down south in parts of New Orleans, the power went out. On Monday nearly 8,000 customers had the lights shut off on them.
The area is well known for being hit with one of the United States most infamous Hurricanes in Katrina. A category 5 storm that devastated the area and caused a lot of flooding and damage that is still being rebuilt.
So it can be excused if on Monday Morning at 8:30 some people were fearing the worst when the power grid shut off completely. However, it is being said that this blackout was not the cause of a huge storm, flooding, a leaking gas line, fire, or anything like that.
The cause was a cat.
Entergy New Orleans, the power company in charge of keeping the lights on to thousands of people, announced today that the power failure was caused when a cat wandered in a Power substation and touched some equipment causing a flash. That knocked out power to 7,556 people.
Unfortunately, animals are not a rare cause of power failures on these grids. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association estimates that around 11 percent of power outages nationally are caused by animals. In comparison, 31 percent of outages are caused by bad weather. So it’s not the leading reason the lights get turned off, but it is still an issue. Anything from rats and mice all the way up to bobcats is cause for power failures. In this case, the culprit seems to have been a cat with an inquisitive eye.
Entergy New Orleans themselves said that the substation at the bottom of this did have protective devices installed. No word on what those “devices” were but they would make something like this even rarer. With this incident, hopefully, will be looking at the procedure and hopefully changing some things.
As for the culprit that caused the outage in the first place. It is not looking good. Entergy New Orleans tweeted this out of the issue.
So, unfortunately, it seems the cat did not make it. The tweet also points out that power has been restored to the area and the costumers who were affected. Aside from that one feline soul, it looks like no one else was hurt in the outage or the recovery effort in getting the lights back on. Power was restored by Monday night and things are getting back to normal quickly.
It is events like this that sadly prove the old saying true. Curiosity, unfortunately, did kill the cat. For all the animal lovers out there, it is not a good thing to hear. but chances are that with that much power involved, he went quickly and hopefully not in pain.
Hopefully, it doesn’t need to be said to anyone reading this, but it is worth repeating. DON’T GO NEAR A POWER SUBSTATION. The people who deal with those places are HIGHLY trained professionals in dealing with some dangerous voltage. If you are not one of those HIGHLY TRAINED professionals, leave it to the pros and don’t mess with them. If there is a lesson to be learned from this, don’t be like that poor cat.