Lightning, ice storms and storms with high winds can cause severe damage that can lead to power outages. When an object, such as a tree limb, comes in contact with a power line, circuit breakers or other protective equipment shut off the flow of power. Customers connected to that circuit will be without power until crews can remove the object and reset the equipment.
During severe weather, trees may be uprooted and fall onto the power lines, which may cause damage to lines and poles. When this damage occurs, Vectren crews have to completely rebuild the infrastructure, which can be time consuming work and may cause you to be without power for longer periods of time. Furthermore, damage to electrical equipment is not always obvious or immediately visible. Crews must inspect the lines and equipment to locate the specific area in need of repair.
Small animals that climb on equipment, such as transformers or fuses, can cause the equipment to shut down. By shutting down, the equipment protects the rest of the system to prevent widespread outages.
High winds or fallen trees may cause power lines to touch and short out, causing an outage. Wind may also blow tree limbs or entire trees onto the power lines, causing the lines to fall to the ground and possibly even break the lines and poles.
Lightning strikes can hit electrical equipment, causing you to lose power. Lightning can also strike trees, which may fall onto power lines and cause outages.
Ice storms create a buildup of ice on power lines and on trees. The weight of the ice can cause tree limbs and entire trees to fall onto power lines; and the weight, if it accumulates on the power lines, can cause poles to break as well.
Heavy rains can cause flooding in certain areas. Floods can cause damage to both above-ground and underground electrical equipment. In some cases, Vectren may have to shut down service to prevent major damage to the equipment.
Vehicle accidents are a common cause of power outages. They can result in broken poles, causing power lines to break or touch. Accidental contact with underground or overhead power lines at construction sites can also cause power outages.