What causes power outages?

Posted on Jun 22 2018 in Harrison REMC

A snake crawled from the Georgetown substation structure onto the energized substation bus resulting in an outage to a significant number of members in the Georgetown area.

We work hard year-round to deliver reliable service, but outages can occur. When they do, our entire focus is on safely and quickly restoring service based on a detailed and well-practiced action plan. Believe it or not, there are many reasons you could be out of power, aside from bad weather. Below are a few causes of power outages.


Weather is probably the most well-known reason for power outages. It’s also the most common. Storms can knock down trees and tear down power lines and strong winds or flooding can damage co-op equipment. Wind and thunderstorms can be a cause for concern, as well as a winter ice storm.


Small animals also cause power outages. Squirrels, in particular, are notorious for climbing on electrical equipment and causing outages. Raccoons, foxes, possums, snakes and birds can also trigger disruptions. Even larger animals, such as bobcats, have been known to cause problems on electric poles.

Planned outages

Harrison REMC has to make upgrades or provide routine maintenance to the electricity infrastructure. We will call those affected with the date and time they will be without power. It is important to keep all phone numbers updated. With planned outages, you get the benefit of knowing the power will be out in advance, as well as an estimate for how long.


Sometimes the public can cause power outages as well. For example, the theft of co-op equipment, such as copper, can cause outages. Accidents also pose a problem. When people crash their vehicles into electric poles or transformers, it can damage our electricity infrastructure and cause an outage.

What to do when the power goes out

First, check your breakers to make sure that’s not the reason for the power disruption. If you do have a power outage, you can reach us by calling 812-738-4115 or 812-951-2323. Please be sure to keep your phone numbers updated so when you do call, the system will recognize your address and you won’t have to hold for a representative to report your outage.