We work hard year-round to deliver reliable service, but outages can occur. When they do, our entire focus is on safely and quickly restoring service based on a detailed and well-practiced action plan that includes these elements. Believe it or not, there are many reasons you could be out of power, aside from bad weather. Below are a few reasons for outages.
Weather is probably the most well-known reason for power outages. It’s also the most common. Storms can knock down trees and tear down power lines and strong winds or flooding can damage co-op equipment. Wind and thunderstorms can be a cause for concern as well as a winter ice storm.
Small animals also cause power outages. Squirrels, in particular, are notorious for climbing on electrical equipment and causing outages. Raccoons, foxes, possums, snakes and birds can also trigger disruptions. Even larger animals, such as bobcats, have been known to cause problems on electric poles.
Harrison REMC has to make upgrades or provide routine maintenance to the electricity infrastructure. We will call those affected with the time they will be without power. It is important to keep all numbers updated. With planned outages you get the benefit of knowing the power will be out in advance, as well as an estimate for how long.
Sometimes the public can cause power outages as well. For example, the theft of co-op equipment, such as copper, can cause outages. Accidents also pose a problem. When people crash their vehicles into electric poles or transformers it can damage our electricity infrastructure and cause an outage.
What to do when the power goes out
First, check your breakers to make sure that’s not the reason for the power disruption. If you do have a power outage you can always reach us by calling 812-738-4115 or 812-951-2323. Please be sure to keep your phone numbers updated so when you do call in the system will recognize your address and you won’t have to hold for a representative to report your outage.
Years ago we didn’t notice these types of power occurrences, but now with digital clocks we notice these “blinks”. They may seem like they happen frequently, but in reality we are just more aware of them. The major causes of blinks are from small animals such as squirrels.
Having the power blink is a better alternative than having the power go out completely. Blinks are caused by devices designed to protect the electric system. These devices are called “reclosers.” Reclosers act like the circuit breakers in your home, with one major difference; they reset themselves after breaking the circuit. If a tree limb or some other object touches the line long enough for the recloser to open, the device will reset itself and power will flow again.
If the problem clears the line the power will stay on. If the problem continues to exist, the recloser will operate again. After trying three times, reclosers are designed to stay open or keep the power flowing until the problem is fixed and the device is manually reset. The alternative to reclosers is to use a fuse on each line. While fuses would result in fewer blinks, it would also create more outages that would have to be repaired.
Not all outages or blinks will ever be prevented. Your REMC has a yearly tree trimming schedule to help reduce blinks and outages.