Animals, more than hackers, damage electrical infrastructure

1 year 3 months 4 weeks ago Wednesday, January 18 2017 Jan 18, 2017 Wednesday, January 18, 2017 3:26:00 PM CST January 18, 2017 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
FULTON - All 6-year-old Sam Santhuff wanted to do was comfort children in the hospital, even though he was there... More >>
6 hours ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 6:47:00 AM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
KINGDOM CITY- The Fire Fighters Memorial Foundation of Missouri will honor three firefighters who died in the line of duty.... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 7:53:00 PM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol has released the identities of the three people killed and the two... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 6:42:00 PM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Children in Columbia have a chance to get paid to play. Columbia Parks and Recreation started its... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 6:10:00 PM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
HAVANA (AP) — The Latest on the crash in Cuba of a passenger jet with 113 people on board (all... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 5:23:00 PM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Over 90 people showed up at the Burr Oak Brewery for an afternoon of puppies, yoga and beer... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 4:50:00 PM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Although it is nowhere near Halloween, some Columbia runners faced their fears by participating in a zombie-themed 5K... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 11:12:00 AM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The city of Columbia has been ranked a top-ten affordable college town to live in by realtor.com. Factors... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 10:41:00 AM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Mississippi River is above flood stage at several northeast Missouri locations, but forecasters do... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 9:29:44 AM CDT May 19, 2018 in Continuous News
(CNN) -- And they're married! Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle were wed Saturday at Windsor... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 7:09:00 AM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The United states is experiencing one of the lowest birth rates in 30 years, according to the Centers for... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 18 2018 May 18, 2018 Friday, May 18, 2018 9:08:00 PM CDT May 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Attorney General Josh Hawley says attorneys helping Gov. Eric Greitens through impeachment proceedings are acting improperly. "By... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 18 2018 May 18, 2018 Friday, May 18, 2018 8:34:00 PM CDT May 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The annual Backyard Concert Series kicks off Saturday evening at the Jefferson Landing Historic site. Missouri... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 18 2018 May 18, 2018 Friday, May 18, 2018 6:45:00 PM CDT May 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY –Missourians will soon be able to keep a little more money from their paychecks, after a state House... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 18 2018 May 18, 2018 Friday, May 18, 2018 6:33:00 PM CDT May 18, 2018 in News
MADISON (AP) — A Columbia man will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for a shooting death... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 18 2018 May 18, 2018 Friday, May 18, 2018 4:40:00 PM CDT May 18, 2018 in News
WARSAW (AP) — Authorities say the police chief of a western Missouri town was wounded after a 16-year-old boy shot... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 18 2018 May 18, 2018 Friday, May 18, 2018 4:24:00 PM CDT May 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's Republican-led Legislature approved tax cuts for both individuals and corporations Friday and sent a gas-tax... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 18 2018 May 18, 2018 Friday, May 18, 2018 4:18:00 PM CDT May 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Local veterans return home from combat having experienced things average citizens could not even imagine. Douglas Wilbur,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 18 2018 May 18, 2018 Friday, May 18, 2018 4:17:00 PM CDT May 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
1pm 74°
2pm 77°
3pm 78°
4pm 79°