Thursday 23 February 2017

Turned-on frogs leave rural town switched off

Anita Guidera

A PAIR of mating frogs sent sparks flying in an electrical fuse box and left part of a town without electricity at the weekend.

Residents and business owners in a small area of Letterkenny, Co Donegal, were hopping mad when they found themselves powerless for two hours on Sunday morning, for no obvious reason.

But rage turned to bemusement when the 'culprits' turned out to be a pair of amorous frogs, whose unfortunate choice of location to consummate their passion was a power box outside a filling station.

ESB engineers who investigated the problem, found the electrocuted frogs and a slug inside the power box outside Keys's Filling Station in the townland of Tullygay.

Station owner Kelvin Keys, who had to turn away customers because the petrol pumps could not work, was on hand when the engineers got to the root of the problem in the power box.

"It was a sorry sight. The ESB boys told me they were probably the problem.

"The frogs and a great big slug had climbed on to the wires in the box.

"The frogs look like they had been busy but they went out in a puff of smoke," Mr Keys said.

Mr Keys added that while it seemed funny, he had lost business for the two-hour duration the power was out.

"We had to tell a lot of passing motorists that we simply could not give them petrol because the electricity was out."

"Yeah, I suppose you could say I was 'hopping' mad, but thankfully the ESB boys were quick to come out and get it sorted," he said.

A spokesperson for the ESB confirmed yesterday that a single-phase low-voltage fault was reported in the area, which resulted in a two-hour power outage.

Interference

This isn't the first time that Donegal's electricity supply has fallen prey to animal inter-ference.

Three years ago, a flock of birds made contact with a line at a major sub-station near Letterkenny, causing power failure to an estimated 4,000 customers.

During the same period around the country, three separate similar incidents were reported in counties Meath, Limerick and Waterford. They were blamed on rain causing the birds to seek shelter at the sub-station.

And last year, also near Letterkenny, a flock of roosting birds got into a generator near Bomany, plunging parts of the town into darkness for hours.

Irish Independent

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