TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) – David Burnett with Entergy Arkansas told Region 8 News power to the Trumann area was restored at 3:10 Wednesday afternoon. Power was knocked out for several hours in Poinsett County after a large black snake slithered onto a live transformer at the Trumann Substation on Highway 463 South of Trumann. Burnett said the transformer blew, causing a chain reaction failure at two other substations.
"Approximately 5:45, the power went out in three communities, Harrisburg, Trumann and marked tree," said Burnett. "The problem was recognized to have been caused by an animal that got into our substation in Trumann."
Burnett said power was restored to residents in Marked Tree and Harrisburg by 6:30 Wednesday morning. He said some equipment was brought in from Little Rock Wednesday afternoon to make repairs in Trumann.
"It created problems on the high voltage side of our substation transformer there," said Burnett.
"We're in the process now of having to go through and replace this equipment and run extensive tests on the transformer itself to test the integrity of it to make sure it's okay," said Burnett before power was turned back on.
Residents Wednesday were battling the heat by drinking plenty of water and sitting under shade trees until the power was restored. Local restaurants also worked to keep their food products cold while utility crews worked to restore power.
Burnett said recent flooding has forced some animals from their regular habitat.
"We experience some animal problems, and we're assuming this snake was seeking higher ground, but it got on top of our transformer and it was a long black snake," said Burnett. "You can't protect yourself from instances like this."
Burnett said no further disruptions are expected in the Trumann area in relation to the blown transformer Wednesday. He said the new transformer tested fine.
"It's no problem for them to climb up on top of them, it's more common for a raccoon or a squirrel to get into one rather than a snake but it just happened to be a snake this time," said Burnett. "It not only disrupts the business community, but the schools and the elderly especially. They're really susceptible to the heat. As you well know, we've got some hot days that we've had and some hot days we're going to have and this is going to take us through the hot period of the day."