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Birds, squirrels take toll on Juneau power lines

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 13, 2014 at 1:10 pm •  Published: June 13, 2014
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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Squirrels and birds are turning the lights out on customers in Alaska's capital.

Wildlife has knocked out power to Juneau customers seven times this year, the Juneau Empire (http://bit.ly/UzCxrq) reported.

The latest was Wednesday night when a bald eagle dropped trash from a city landfill onto a line. The fallen eagle fodder caused a loud bang and knocked out power to 10,020 customers, said Debbie Driscoll, spokeswoman for Alaska Electric Light and Power Co.

Wildlife disrupts power in communities around the country but Juneau, a commercial fishing community off the road system on Alaska's Panhandle, gets power interruptions from a large eagle population and sometimes even fish.

An eagle last summer was carrying a piece of halibut connected to line in its talons. The eagle dropped the fish and line onto a power line, caused an outage, and watched unhappily from a nearby tree as a crew took down the obstruction, Driscoll said.

"It never did get its lunch back," she said.

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