Snakes Cause Power Outages for Middle Tennessee Electric Customers


Middle Tennessee Electric customers may have experienced outages over the past several days.

The company stated over the weekend that they have experienced an unprecedented situation at their Henpeck substation, with snakes climbing structures and causing four outage incidents in an eight-day period. Within the last two weeks, the company has had four outages caused by snakes.

MTE says the snakes have climbed up the steel structure and then onto energized equipment or lines. When they do so, MTE says they bridge between the energized equipment and they ground the circuit, which causes the breakers to trip, causing an outage.

A crew was dispatched to the substation on every incident where the crew will remove the snake’s carcass and will reset the tripped breaker. The process usually takes less than an hour.

MTE’s standard wildlife guards and snake repellent have not been effective. Several pest control companies were contacted but they weren’t licensed to deal with wildlife, so MTE has contacted specialty wildlife control experts as well as the TWRA for their input.

MTE apologizes for the inconvenience this situation is causing members in the area and please be assured they are working very hard to find a solution to the snake incursions into our equipment.

Please Join Our FREE Newsletter!


  1. Snakes climb trees (power poles) because that is where the Cicadas are.

    When the Cicada are gone, so will your power problem be gone.

  2. To protect bird boxes, Acetate sheets were wrapped around the pole or tree where boxes were. It has been tested. The plastic sheet guards were significantly effective at preventing snakes from climbing the poles or trunks. More info can be found on nestwatch.

Comments are closed.