Squirrel carves problems for ‘Turkey Day’

By ALLEN MINCEY Banner Staff Writer
Posted 11/25/16

Some Bradley County residents may have awaken Thankgiving morning wondering if they would be able to get their holiday meal ready due to a power outage in the U.S. Highway 64 area.

It may have …

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Squirrel carves problems for ‘Turkey Day’

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Some Bradley County residents may have awaken Thankgiving morning wondering if they would be able to get their holiday meal ready due to a power outage in the U.S. Highway 64 area.

It may have revived bad memories for some of a power outage two years ago just prior to Thanksgiving Day.

However, according to Cleveland Utilities, the outage lasted about 1 1/2 hours, so its effect was considered minimal.

A Cleveland Utilities spokesperson this morning said the outage occurred around 7:20 a.m., and power was restored close to 8:50 a.m. Thursday. He said that while he did not have the exact number of homes affected, it was a small amount in comparison to a similar outage if it had happened in a more densely populated area.

The area affected was in the Highway 64/Durkee Road area, and was reportedly caused by a squirrel which made contact with a transformer. Cleveland Utilities said the incident created a small fire on a power pole, and the insulator on the pole had to be removed and replaced.

The incident occurred in the Minnis Road area, which is just east of Durkee Road.

Cleveland Utilities said the outage did affect power at the Whirlpool Cleveland plant on Benton Pike, but the company was shut down for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Oddly enough, this was not the first power outage to strike an area of Cleveland at the Thanksgiving holiday. Two years ago, more than half of CU’s customers were left in the dark following a much broader power outage.

On Nov. 26, 2014, work on Cleveland Utilities equipment caused seven substations to be involved in a power outage that affected just over 17,000 customers. According to reports published then in the Cleveland Daily Banner, two substations had to be “tied in” as part of the utility company’s attempt to improve service to its customer base.

However, an overhead static wire fell onto live lines below it, causing the outage then that lasted a total of about one hour.

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