Why Is My Power Out?

We don’t like it when the power goes out just as much as you don’t like it. When there is an outage, we work hard to resume service as safely and quickly as possible. Many times, the reasons for outages are beyond our control. 

Here are the main reasons the power goes out: 

  1. Storms — High winds, ice and lightning can interrupt service. Lightning can strike trees and cause branches or even whole trees to fall on distribution lines. Lightning can also cause a problem if it strikes substation equipment, such as a large transformer. 
  2. Trees and vegetation — Branches, limbs
    or trunks can fall on lines, and vegetation (such as vines) can grow around poles,
    lines, or other equipment. This is why we work so hard to keep power lines and equipment clear. 
  3. Animals — An estimated 11% of outages are caused by squirrels. They love to chew on the weatherproof coating around lines. Turkeys and snakes can interfere with service, too. 
  4. Accidents — Cars, trucks and farm equipment that have a run-in with a utility pole can cause an outage. 
  5. Public damage — Unsafe digging, equipment or line damage, vandalism, or theft can cause interruptions. 
  6. Overload — This can happen when demand spikes, such as when too many air conditioners run on a hot summer day, causing blackouts or brownouts. 
  7. Equipment — We maintain and inspect all
    of our lines and equipment regularly; however, sometimes equipment malfunctions. We strive to address any problem as soon as it happens.

Please contact us at 800-732-4373 with questions about outages or to learn more about the steps we take to provide reliable service. For more information about electrical safety, visit SafeElectricity.org.