Animals, more than hackers, damage electrical infrastructure

3 months 1 week 1 day ago January 18, 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 3:26:00 PM CST in News
By: Chris Joseph, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – Washington D.C. isn’t the only city subject to cyber attacks. Mid-Missouri's power lines are at risk- but not from any hacking group.

Squirrels, birds, and other small animals lay siege to power lines across the country, according to a presentation given at the Shoomcon Security Conference in Washington D.C. by Cris Thomas. Thomas tracks the number of “attacks” on the world's electrical infrastructure through Google Alerts and publishes his findings online.  

His research showed animals caused 14 instances of infrastructure damage in 2016 and 8 in 2015. But that's only a small peek at the real issue.

"In 2015, 12 percent of all outages was a result of wildlife that were somehow interacting with the electric lines," Chris Rohlfing, the manager of member services at Boone Electric Cooperative, said.

Rohlfing explained animals often short out the equipment when they get too close. 

The Columbia Water and Light department faces similar challenges.  

"By far mother nature is the electric utilities' worst enemy," Connie Kacprowicz, Columbia Water and Light spokesperson, said.  

"There have been times that we've had, like over the fall, three outages in one morning due to squirrel activity."

Both Columbia Water and Light and the Boone County Electric Cooperative use devices to prevent animals from from damaging the machinery.  Kacprowicz and Rohfling both stated that moving lines underground would create considerable costs for all parties involved, but tree trimming was a main form of preventative measures. 

 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Every last Friday of each month Cafe Berlin will fundraise to contribute to organizations that have experienced discrimination,... More >>
1 hour ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 7:55:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Forty-eight Columbia churches will gather this weekend to participate in the third annual ForColumbia volunteer event, a city-wide... More >>
6 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 2:59:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department beat commanders hosted their first beat meeting with the northeast Columbia community for the... More >>
10 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 10:24:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri House members want more information on how much money the state is paying in lawsuit... More >>
13 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 7:48:03 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Senate has passed a bond measure for a new music and dance conservatory at... More >>
13 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 7:43:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Columbia woman pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to embezzling $231,600 from her employer, Shelter Insurance... More >>
14 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 6:12:00 PM CDT in News
CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — A Honduran man who entered the United States illegally three times has pleaded guilty to kidnapping... More >>
15 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 5:25:40 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Som e Missouri lawmakers want to shield lodging websites such as Airbnb from local ordinances that... More >>
15 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 5:16:31 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — The four-campus Unive rsity of Missouri s ystem is proposing raising tuition and required fees of in-state... More >>
15 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 5:04:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri released new and revised policies relating to protests and free speech on campus, including... More >>
16 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 4:10:00 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A woman is accused in southw estern Missouri of drunkenly causing a fatal car crash in December.... More >>
16 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 4:09:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A police chase in Callaway County ended in a crash and a foot pursuit Thursday. It started... More >>
17 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 3:43:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County's iconic "Big Tree" is being damaged by vandals spray painting its base, according to its owner,... More >>
17 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 3:37:50 PM CDT in 8 Goes Green
COLUMBIA - Three suspects were in custody Thursday afternoon on suspicion of stealing, following a joint investigation by the Boone... More >>
17 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 3:15:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) kicked off its state music festival Thursday, drawing thousands of... More >>
18 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 2:21:00 PM CDT in News
OZARK (AP) — The last of three people accused in the 2014 shooting death of a sout hwest Missouri man... More >>
19 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 1:51:00 PM CDT in News
JACKSONVILLE, Mo. - Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers responded to a car driving the wrong way in the northbound lanes... More >>
19 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 1:47:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri State Senate sent a $27.8 billion operating budget back to the House Thursday after multiple... More >>
19 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 1:05:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 53°
9am 54°
10am 56°
11am 57°
12pm 61°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
8:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
10:00a
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
First Dates
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
The Originals
8:00p
Reign
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld