Another foxy power outage leaves St. George residents in the dark

ST. GEORGE – St. George residents in the Dixie Downs, Green Valley and Tonaquint areas lost power for just over 30 minutes Saturday night, and the cause has once again been traced to those foxy foxes.

“This is extremely rare for it to happen twice in a two-month period,” Marc Mortensen, assistant to the St. George City manager, said.

On Oct. 5, a similar power outage affected the same areas of St. George, and it was discovered in that instance that a fox was the culprit. Saturday night, another little critter struck again at the Green Valley substation. A fox got inside a transformer cabinet, trying to find a warm spot to get away from the cold, and was electrocuted.

“I could tell just the way the power was on in certain areas it looked exactly like it did the time before,” Mortensen said. “ … Sure enough, within 10 minutes I got a text saying the fox got past all our traps.”

After last month’s incident, three humane traps were set to keep the foxes away from the transformer, and Mortensen said the city has also ordered special equipment – a custom-made attachment to seal the cabinet door – but it hasn’t arrived yet.

He said the opening in the cabinet that the foxes are getting in through is so small it would seem impossible for them to get inside, but they do.

“It’s amazing what they can squeeze into,” he said.

“You’d be shocked to see – no pun intended – but you’d be amazed to see how small the hole is that these little foxes get into,” he added.

Mortensen said the city tries to humanely trap and release foxes and other animals to keep them out of the transformer cabinets.

The fox that shut down the power Saturday night was electrocuted and died, as did the fox that got inside the transformer last month.

The new preventive equipment should arrive within the next week or so, Mortensen said, and should alleviate the problem so no more foxes or other small animals can get inside the transformer cabinet and disrupt power service.

A journeyman lineman from St. George Power responded to the outage and had power restored in just over 30 minutes.

“Some (areas) were less, some were slightly more,” Mortensen said.

Ed. note: Day of incident clarified.

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16 Comments

  • crescent November 15, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    What does the fox say? Zzzzzt POP!

  • D November 15, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    What did the fox say!!!! Sparky … Spark… 🙂

  • Typo November 15, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    So was it Friday or Saturday? Darn typo’s.

    • Cami Cox Jim Cami Cox Jim November 15, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      It was Saturday — correction has been made in the story. A fox must’ve gotten to my keyboard when I wasn’t looking… 😉

  • tight magic undies November 15, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    Anybody who dares trying to dance around here, should suffer the same fate as the foxes.

  • getting flooded November 16, 2014 at 7:33 am

    Maybe SGPD sends them there for doing the fox trot!!!!!!!!

  • Richard November 16, 2014 at 7:51 am

    St. George is beginning to resemble Bangladesh or India in its electric power unreliability.

    The city fathers better begin to worry less about new theaters, carousels and other such civic trinkets and more on the essentials or else the City will suffer more employment losses.

    Businesses hate it when essential processes are routinely interrupted and production is destroyed.

    Have you noticed that when the power goes out often you must reset your clocks, modems, computers, devices. Does no one in City Hall care about these things?

    Safeguarding a power distribution facility is not nuclear science. It needs to be done in consistent, workmanlike fashion. Obviously that is NOT being done. It is probably long time due for people like Mortensen to be replaced when they fail – twice within little more than a month – to do their jobs and give more excuses.

    By the way, when did it become a primary core competency for small-town governments to provide electric power? Oh, right. That is a core competency like theaters, carousels, golf courses, bus systems and a whole host of other jobs?

    St. George ought to start hiving off many of these jobs to competitive entities that can either do the jobs reliably or get replaced quickly.

    The people who are responsible for these failures ought to be replaced; Is it not time to replace Mortensen for two failures in two months?

    • Zonkerb November 16, 2014 at 10:53 am

      Ha ha ha ha ha. Whaaaaaaaa Whaaaaaaaa lWhaaaaaaaa grow up

  • Billy Madison November 16, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Try using a heated trap.

  • Christine S November 16, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Poor thing. Got hotter than it wanted, eh?

  • Visiting Anthropologist November 16, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Is it a coincidence that this happened both times on a weekend night at the same place? Somebody asleep at the wheel there?

  • PROTECT THE SHEEP November 16, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I know that Obama and Nancy Pelosi caused this in some way. Darn liberals!!!

  • Richard Cranium November 16, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    This has such a simple solution I can’t believe they haven’t done it already. All they have to do is put up “WARNING” signs for the foxes to read, telling them of the consequences of entering herewith into the premises of which they are posting the signs around.

    • Christine S November 16, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      My husband said they should leave the body of the dead fox as a warning to the others…..

  • PROTECT THE SHEEP November 16, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    wat r they gonna do with the fox??? I’m in need of a new hat.

  • rayjay1999 November 17, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Is it me? Or when we pay our utility bill an innocent little animal dies. This is just bad for the city. I mean Provo or Hurricane don’t have this problem. Even Rocky Mountain Power does not have this problem. St. George needs to fix it.

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