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Power Outage Caused By Birds Building Nest in Substation Affects 5,000+ on Saturday

By Jesse Wood

On Saturday, linemen with Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation spent more than four hours responding to a power outage that was caused by birds building a nest in a substation.

The outage, which started at 6:27 p.m., affected 5,142 people initially. About an hour later, power was restored to 1,492 members and the remaining households and businesses in Western Watauga had power once again at about 10:30 p.m.

BREMCO spokeswoman Renee Whitener said that birds were building a nest in a substation that affected power in Western Watauga when one or more of the birds grounded a live wire.

“It seems like we’ve had a rash of snakes and birds coming out this spring,” Whitener said.

She said that while BREMCO has animal guards and holds routine inspections, critters still find a way inside.

If you have an outage, report it at BREMCO’s 24/7 PowerLine: 1-800-448-2383.