BOONE — A regulator failure led to animal guards catching fire at a Blue Ridge Energy substation along N.C. 194 just north of Boone, resulting in more than 4,700 customers losing power for nearly two hours on the evening of Friday, Aug. 2.
The cause of the outage was given by BRE spokesperson Renee Whitener, who said the utility is still investigating why the regulator failed.
According to Whitener, a regulator helps stabilize voltage at a substation, but its failure led to the animal guards – which keep squirrels, snakes and other small animals from climbing on live lines – to catch fire.
The outage started around 7:35 p.m. on Aug. 2, resulting in outages in Boone and going up N.C. 194 and Meat Camp Road into Ashe County. At its peak, 4,775 customers were without power, with all but 151 in Watauga County.
Power was restored at 9:23 p.m. for all affected customers, Whitener said.
Boone Police provided assistance at intersections with stoplights, mostly along U.S. 421.