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This Racoon Caused a Nationwide Power Outage!

By Orgesta Tolaj


27 May 2024

raccoon power outage

© Chris Ensminger / Unsplash

Who even knew this was possible? A raccoon caused a power outage that affected thousands of residents in downtown Toronto. What happened next? Chaos ensued! The furry culprit managed to disrupt the bustling city life, leaving many in the dark and inconvenienced. Here is what happened to both the city and the raccoon.

Raccoon Caused a Power Outage in Toronto

A power outage impacting thousands of customers in downtown Toronto was attributed to an unfortunate raccoon that entered an inappropriate area, according to utility officials.

raccoon power outage
© Gary Bendig / Unsplash

Hydro One reported on social media that approximately 7,000 customers downtown experienced a power loss lasting over two hours on February 2nd. Crews concluded that a raccoon had made contact with their equipment at a station in downtown Toronto.

What Measures Is the City Now Taking?

A Hydro One spokesperson mentioned the utility is exploring methods to prevent the city’s unofficial mascot, the raccoon, from entering transmission stations. This comes after a raccoon caused a power outage affecting around 7,000 customers in downtown Toronto’s Church-Wellesley area by making contact with a transformer. The outage lasted for over two hours on Thursday night.

raccoon power outage
© Simon Infanger / Unsplash

Hydro One spokesperson Tiziana Baccega Rosa stated that crews confirmed the outage was caused by the raccoon because the animal was found on-site, deceased when they arrived. She mentioned that in such cases, the system functions as designed to prevent further damage. Animals are attracted to the warmth emitted by power stations, and although they cause outages from time to time, efforts are being made to mitigate such incidents.

What About Animal Protection?

Baccega Rosa emphasized that the utility views the situation seriously and is committed to implementing measures to prevent similar outages. Crews, along with an animal abatement specialist, are investigating how the raccoon accessed the transmission station.

She highlighted other animal protection initiatives, like building elevated platforms to deter osprey from nesting atop electricity poles and minimizing the risk of nests falling onto power lines below.

© Quinten de Graaf / Unsplash

To prevent animal-related outages at power stations, one approach involves constructing enclosures around specific equipment. Environmental data helps identify areas prone to animal interference. However, there is still much to learn about effectively mitigating these incidents.

What would you do if a raccoon caused such a significant power outage in your city?

You might also want to read: People in Toronto Are Renting Out ‘Half Their Bed’

Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!