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Big Florida snake knocks out power to 22,000

Posted at 5:01 AM, Jul 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-21 07:05:25-04

(WJAX/CNN) - Thousands of customers in Jacksonville were left without power Wednesday morning after a snake slithered into a substation.

Officials said the red rat snake came into contact with a circuit breaker, causing a big flash that was caught on camera.

The snake slithered through the gates at the substation in Orange Park and then made it into the middle of the substation before getting electrocuted.

 

The outage knocked out power at one point to more than 22,000 customers.

This isn’t the first time a snake has caused an outage in the Jacksonville area.

In July 2014, a snake got into a transformer causing a brief power outage at the St. Johns Town Center.

Then in September 2015, a snake crawled into a transformer in clay electric's double branch substation, causing an outage that left 5,000 customers in the dark for an hour.

Two weeks after that, another snake caused a power outage that affected thousands of customers in the northern part of Clay County.

The Jacksonville Electric Authority said animal guards and fiberglass brackets are being installed on distribution lines.

They also say they are working to prevent bird nests in substations because their eggs attract snakes looking for food.

JEA said on average animals causes an outage every two or three years at substations.

Courtesy WJAX via CNN