GPA: 2 Brown Tree Snakes Triggered November 3 Islandwide Power Outage


Guam – The Guam Power Authority today [Monday] acknowledged that 2 Brown Tree Snakes crawling onto a high voltage power line on Ypao Road in Tamuning were the initial trigger that set off a chain of events that plunged the island into darkness on Wednesday November 3erd.

GPA Spokesman Art Perez told PNC News that the snakes apparently caused a short in the high voltage wire near a power pole by the SDA Clinic. The short, sent a surge of current down the line to another power pole across the street from the Days Inn.  There, a loose buckle-clamp allowed “arcing” to occur between the power-line and the loose buckle. That “arcing” acted like a blow torch, severing the power line which fell and slapped another power line below it setting off the huge burst of light seen across most of northern Guam.

Perez said that the snake induced short, and the power line that was severed as a result,  should have been contained. But it was not contained because protective relay switches at the Tamuning Substation did not isolated the outage.

It is the first time in about 15 years, says Perez, that Brown Tree Snakes have triggered an island-wide outage.