Kodiak eagles disrupting city’s electrical grid, potentially caused recent power outages in town

At least 2,000 Kodiak residents lost electricity around 3:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon for about an hour, as a power outage swept across some neighborhoods within city limits and the Monashka Bay area, just north of the city.

According to the Kodiak Electric Association’s outage map, 40% of residents in town were experiencing a loss of power. In Monashka Bay, all 753 residents were without electricity as well.

Darron Scott is the President and CEO of Kodiak Electric Association (KEA). He said something disturbed one of the city’s transmission lines and caused the electric current to ground itself out, which shut off power in one part of town.

“Somewhere on the transmission line between the substation that goes up Pillar Mountain and the substation near downtown, a fault happened on that line,” Scott explained.

There were a couple of fish processors who lost power though in a separate part of town, as one power line from the downed substation was knocked out as well. Scott said that line runs to the electric crane and the processors off of Shelikof Street.

The outage did not reach downtown Kodiak. However, it did affect some essential businesses within city limits like the local grocery stores off of Mill Bay Road. Safeway and Walmart both reported a loss of power Thursday, Feb. 22.

Scott says the utility provider does not know exactly what caused the outage, but one of Kodiak’s many birds could have been interfering with the substation.

“We’re not sure. It could have been an eagle. We do not have one identified. But the fault acted similar to what an eagle interaction would be,” Scott said.

That’s similar to what caused a power outage last week on Feb. 16 that affected downtown, and parts of Mission Road and Rezanof Drive. Scott says an eagle flew into one of the substations in that instance. Power was ultimately restored to the area after about an hour Friday evening.

After yesterday’s outage, power was restored to all residents by early evening around 4:30 p.m. and KEA’s outage map shows the electrical grid is normal as of Friday morning, Feb. 23.

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