Raccoons, lightning and birds caused electrical power outages in Pratt recently.
Some citizens of Pratt woke up to flashing alarm clocks that perhaps showed the incorrect time on Monday, a second loss of electrical power in town in just a few days.
According to City Electrical Director Jamie Huber, the recent problems have natural causes.
“Two raccoons were electrocuted when they put their paws in the wrong place, causing a couple of breakers at the power plant to trip Monday morning,” Huber said.
Electricity flickered off at 5 a.m. and was back on by 5:02 a.m.
Last Friday, a bolt of lightning zapped the electrical system, causing an outage. On Saturday night a lightning strike fused a pump at the city swimming pool into an “on” position, so that chemicals had to be added manually until city workers could fix the problem on Monday.
“We had to replace an electrical device that allows the motors to speed up or slow down as needed,” said Public Works Director Russ Rambat.
Several weeks ago a large bird spread its wings across two adjacent power lines and was also electrocuted, causing a power outage at that time.
“We’ve gone a long time without anything like this happening,” said Huber. “But here lately it’s just been one thing after another. Hopefully that’s all over with now.”
City employees have been diligent at keeping trees trimmed in most areas around town, and none of the recent outages were caused by tree limbs on electrical wires. Huber said it was just a strange sequence of suicidal animals causing power failures at this time.