Eagle drops debris, Juneau residents lose power

Outage affected residents north of Salmon Creek for about 45 minutes Monday

In this July 6, 2017 photo, a bald eagle takes a break from feeding on a chum salmon in Juneau. (Angelo Saggiomo | Juneau Empire File)

At about 4:45 p.m. Monday, an eagle flying over Alaska Electric Light & Power dropped an unexpected payload – a piece of scrap metal.

 

Deb Driscoll, the vice president director of consumer affairs for the power utility, said the piece of metal appeared to be about a foot and a half long and tripped open the electrical system when it struck a transmission line.

It caused an outage to basically everyone north of the Salmon Creek area, Driscoll said, extending all the way Out the Road. As of 5:15 p.m., Driscoll said they were still working to restore power to all affected customers, but she expected the process to only take another 10 minutes or so.

Driscoll said there was a huge volume of calls that came in during the minutes after the outage of people reporting the loss of power. She said they weren’t able to get to all of them and answer them all individually, but said they were sure to quickly update their social media accounts with information about the spread of the outage, the cause and the efforts to restore power.

Eagles dropping debris on power lines and power equipment isn’t out of the ordinary, Driscoll said. She said she’s seen eagles drop halibut heads, deer heads and other items on power equipment in past years. She said it’s more likely an eagle than a raven or crow, because eagles tend to carry larger items.

“The eagle needs to work on its grip,” Driscoll said.

People can follow AEL&P for updates at “Alaska Electric Light & Power” on Facebook or @AELPJuneau on Twitter.

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