Hartselle Utilities provides approximately 8,760 hours of electricity in 2019 to Hartselle residents. Throughout the year, there were 44 outages with a combined total of 34.5 hours of outages, according Hartselle Utilities General Manager Bob Sittason.
Mention a power outage, and most residents will think back to major storms that caused memorable power outages. But last year, there were only 10 weather-related power outages.
The number one cause of outages? Animals, typically squirrels, raccoons, possums and birds. Of the 44 outages last year, 23 of them were caused by animals.
Equipment failures caused five outages, trees caused two, and the final two were either miscellaneous or unknown.
Last year’s 44 outages were a significant drop from 71 in 2018, and 86 in 2017. However, cautions Sittason, while the utility does everything it can to prevent power outages with preventative maintenance, it’s not yet time to pat themselves on the back.
“We control what we can,” Sittason says. “Otherwise, we’re at the mercy of nature.”