The not-so-fun and fun facts about North Carolina squirrels
A power company in North Carolina has installed wildlife protection products to reduce the accessibility that critters, such as squirrels, have to power substations. This will hopefully reduce the amount of power outages that are caused by squirrels in the state. According to the American Public Power Association, around 3,500 outages were caused by squirrels in the year 2016 alone. There are plenty of ways that power companies can utilize to help deter the animals from entering substations in the first place.
One such squirrel that can cause outages is the flying squirrel, native to North Carolina. The southern flying squirrel can be found from Maine all the way down the coast to Florida. Because the animals are nocturnal, few people ever encounter them. They possess a membrane between their front and back legs that can fold out when they jump from a tree and this allows them to glide through the air.
Squirrels and Substations: Keep the Power On
Squirrels caused 3,456 outages in 2016 alone, causing power loss for almost 200,000 customers, according to the American Public Power Association. Many of those outages occurred in Gastonia, North Carolina, a suburb of Charlotte.
For example, two large oak trees on a golf course attracted countless curious squirrels into a substation managed by the City of Gastonia Public Utilities. Because this particular substation served as a “squirrel hotel,” the North Carolina utility found it nearly impossible to keep the substation online. via T&DWorld
Summary: A power company in North Carolina has installed products to help with wildlife protection in its substations. This will hopefully help combat the amount of power outages caused by squirrels.
The City of Gastonia in North Carolina installed wildlife protection products from TE Connectivity in its substations to keep the power on and reduce squirrel electrical contact. #GridReliability #Substation #RaychemFromTE https://t.co/VSL9X19SkZ
— B McG (@RedandGreen00) January 14, 2020
Northern flying squirrels and southern flying squirrels are the only two native flying squirrel species found in North America. They are both gray-brown, but the northern flying squirrel has belly fur that is gray at the base, and for the southern flying squirrel the belly fur is all white.
The southern flying squirrel is found throughout the eastern United States, from Maine south to Florida and west from Minnesota south to Texas. Learn more
Summary: Flying squirrels are native to North Carolina and many other parts of the United States. They have a membrane between their front and back legs that allows them to glide from tree to tree.