Snakes Are Causing ‘Unprecedented Power Outages’ in Tennessee

Snakes caused at least four power outages over the course of just eight days in Franklin, Tennessee. Middle Tennessee Electric (MTE) says snakes are climbing into the Henpeck substation, onto energized equipment, and electrocuting themselves. Then, the surrounding neighborhoods lose power.

This is not normal. In an interview with local news, Larry Rose, MTE communications and marketing director, says one manager he spoke with can only remember two other times this has happened over his 20-year career. And yet, in just over a week, it’s happened four times.

“Wildlife guards and snake repellent have not been effective,” MTE wrote in an email to its customers. MTE said its next step is consulting with wildlife officials for more ideas on how to keep snakes away from the substation.

The majority of the snakes found at the substation have been gray rat snakes. No one knows why they’ve suddenly decided to try to slither onto MTE’s equipment, especially considering they’re now using three types of snake repellent in the area.

MTE also shared a video of a snake causing a power outage in realtime:

Crew are monitoring the area for snakes during daylight hours and removing them from harm’s way by returning them to surrounding wooded areas.
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