The Richmond Register

May 25, 2011

Power restored after snake causes substation explosion

Thousands of Bereans without power

By Ronica Shannon
Register News Writer

BEREA — Approximately 3,200 north Berea residents woke up Wednesday in the dark because of a electrical substation fire on Old US 25. The fire reportedly caused a loud explosion and flames which could be seen for miles.

Power finally was restored at about 3 p.m. Wednesday.

“Our initial report indicates that a snake crawled into the substation equipment and sparked the fire,” said Sha Collier, spokesperson for Blue Grass Energy.

Collier referred to the substation fire as “... a rare occurrence.”

Employees at Blue Grass Energy were first alerted about the fire at about 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, she said.

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, about 1,680 Madison County residents remained without power, according to a press release from Blue Grass Energy.

Students at Silver Creek Elementary were bused to Madison Southern High School, which called for a tremendous amount of last-minute planning, according to superintendent Tommy Floyd.

“We are very pleased this morning with the cooperation and collaboration between the Silver Creek Elementary staff, the Madison Southern (High School) staff, the Foley Middle (School) staff and many district personnel,” Floyd said. “We started having conversations in the wee hours of the morning.”

He and Madison County Transportation Director Skip Benton sat at Floyd’s kitchen table this morning making the plans so that Silver Creek Elementary’s field day activities would not be interrupted, he said.

“We found out Silver Creek was going to have field day, and we started making calls,” Floyd said. “Basically, we had to move one school to another.”

When the elementary students arrived at the high school, they were greeted with a chain of Silver Creek Elementary staff, making the students feel “... protected and welcome,” he said.