Joe Pell/Flickr Creative Commons

Joe Pell/Flickr Creative Commons

A local Alaska Power and Telephone manager says ‘animal vandalism’ was the cause of two of three power outages that all happened within the last three weeks.

AP&T’s Darren Belisle in Skagway says the frequency of outages recently has been unusual. But he says the timing seems to be a coincidence.

The most recent outage was Monday around 3 p.m. Belisle says a raven got into AP&T’s main power transformer in Haines. The corvid interference caused the entire Upper Lynn Canal power grid to go dark for about 15 minutes. The raven did not survive the encounter.

Belisle says the transformer already has bird protection, but the power company is looking into putting additional deterrents in place.

An outage on August 19 that cut out power to about 140 Haines customers was also sparked by a bird. Belisle says it appears an eagle carrying a salmon hit a power line at about 1.5 Mile on the Haines Highway. That outage lasted about half an hour.

Just a few days later, on August 22, there was an equipment failure at the Skagway hydropower plant. Belisle says ‘one computer quit talking to another one.’ Skagway and Haines customers lost power for about 15 minutes until AP&T workers could turn on the back-up diesel system. Belisle says the equipment problems are now repaired.

If customers are having issues with power surges in their homes, Belisle says they should check their grounding and call AP&T if they need help.