Birds cause 5k+ to lose power in Medford Monday

MEDFORD, Ore.– Numerous City of Medford facilities and thousands of residents were without power on one of the hottest days of the year yesterday.

More than 5,000 people were without power for the majority of the day according to Pacific Power.

Pacific Power said the power went out around 12:30 Monday and was restored almost nine hours later.

All City of Medford facilities except fire and police were out because of the issue.

The outage happened in West Medford at the Sage Road substation.

A spokesperson told NBC5 a group of birds got into the wiring at the substation and caused the outage.

Pacific Power Spokesperson Paul Gauntt said, “it has kind of a ripple effect. When one thing gets damaged, it damages the next piece of equipment on the line. So it did take quite a bit of work to do.”

Gauntt said they needed to repair six fuses and switches that were used to re-route power, which took a significant amount of work.

He said the protective sleeves they put on the wiring prevents animals from causing outages most of the time.

Gauntt said that Pacific Power understands the inconvenience of a power outage on the hottest day of the year.

He said they appreciated the patience of their customers as they worked to get the power back on.

NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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