To report a power outage, please call the Westerville Electric Division at (614) 901-6700. After business hours, callers will have the option to be redirected to the City's Customer Call Center or may choose to leave a non-urgent voice mail. The Westerville Electric Division staff will be alerted by the call center and crews dispatched to any outage issues. The Westerville Electric Division is staffed 24 hours a day and 365 days per year.
Learn the Leading Causes of Power Outages
Weather events, trees and animals are the main culprits of power outages in public power communities.
If lightning strikes utility electric equipment, it can cause a power outage. High winds that often accompany storms can shake equipment loose, and wind and lightning can cause tree limbs to fall into power lines. Flooding usually only affects pad-mounted equipment (located on the ground – on a concrete slab locked inside a steel cabinet) and must be significant in order to cause a problem.
The freeze and thaw of ice can also loosen equipment – causing it to become brittle and break. Snow from winter storms makes tree branches heavy, increasing the likelihood of limbs falling on power lines.
The best way to combat branches falling on lines is trimming. Tree trimming also reduces issues with squirrels, which are another main cause of the power going out. When a squirrel runs along power lines, it can come in contact with the energized parts of the equipment. This overloads the system similar to a lightning strike. While other animals can cause outages, the squirrel is the most common offender.
Accidents, while rare, can also cause a power outage. If a driver loses control of their car and hits a power pole, it can cause an outage. Construction accidents – such as a contractor unintentionally hitting buried facilities – can also result in customers losing power.
In the event of an outage, municipal electric system crews and staff work to keep a minimum amount of people without power for the shortest amount of time. They are always striving to provide reliable power to residents.
Source: AMP Public Power Connections Spring 2016 edition.