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Snake’s demise causes Clinton outages

  • A snake in a Gary Street substation in Clinton had an unfortunate end late Tuesday night and it took out the power for much of the city in the process, according to Dale Satterfield, the director of the Department of Public Works for the City of Clinton.

“We had an outage about 11:15 Tuesday night, and we knew it was an extensive because about half the town was affected,” Satterfield said.
Clinton’s Gary Street technician didn’t find any problems in the lower-voltage substation that is managed by the City of Clinton, but the nearby Duke Energy technician found a snake which had triggered the breaker in its substation.

“It’s not that uncommon,” said Dale Satterfield, explaining that wildlife can often be the cause of outages.

“The Duke technician had a very quick response once he found the snake that had caused the outage,” Satterfield said.

“We call it the high side and the low side,” referring to the 100,000 volts in the Duke substation, which steps down the power to the 14,400 volts which is distributed by the City of Clinton to light the city.

“Under the proper procedure the technician will check the equipment for damage and make sure everything is normal,” Satterfield said, “so our technician and the Duke technician worked together and had everything restarted in about an hour.”

With the potential for damaging storms coming through on Wednesday and Wednesday night,   Satterfield said that the cities of Laurens and Clinton had already set up tentative mutual aid plans in case of power outages that required assistance.

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