An electric outage that hit Bodo Industrial Park for more than four hours beginning Saturday night was likely caused by an animal that got into a switch box.
The cause has not been confirmed, but it appears to be similar to other outages caused by animals getting into switch boxes for warmth and eventually causing a short circuit, said Baker McKonly, a La Plata Electric Association employee who was on duty Sunday handling outage calls.
The outage, which lasted from 8:15 p.m. to 12:45 a.m., hit 563 people at it’s peak. The area hit by the outage included Smelter Mountain, the Durango Mall and Colorado Highway 3, McKonly said.
“We’ve had this happen before,” he said. “An animal, a mice or a coon, finds warmth in the base of the switch cabinet and eventually climbs into the box and causes a short circuit.”
McKonly said not all the switch boxes in the area have been checked yet, but he suspects his theory about the outage is correct.
“It was cold, and once power was restored, (crew members) wanted to go home,” he said.
The remaining switch boxes not checked this weekend will be checked Monday, he said.