Take it from a recent New Orleans expat: the city’s utilities infrastructure is less reliable than anyone scheduled to return to work the day after Mardi Gras. Power outages are semi-regular occurrences in the Crescent City for a number of reasons (most of them boil down to “our electricity providers are goddamn mafioso extortionists”), but one of the frequent culprits is simply just an unfortunate, random animal that finds themselves on the wrong end of a substation’s wiring.
A few years back, a street cat tragically met its end in a similar situation—don’t worry, we held a second line funeral procession for it—and yesterday it seems a bird “of an unknown origin” appears to have knocked out power to around 10,000 New Orleanians for about three hours. According to The New York Times, an estimated 20% of all power outages in the city are caused by unlucky animals, so chalk this one up to the statistics.
Although City Council plans to hear from the utility company at its next meeting about the incident, New Orleans residents were quick to make up their minds regarding the sudden, unexpected-yet-wholly-unsurprising loss of power.
The outage encompassed virtually all of the downtown New Orleans area, so that an NBA match between the Pelicans and the Orlando Magic almost needed postponement. Fortunately for residents, the power largely came back on in time for the game...which was less than fortunate for the Pelicans themselves, seeing as how they ended up losing by only 5 points.
In terms of preventing future animal-induced utility emergencies, don’t worry, New Orleans’ electricity provider has them covered: The NYT reports that Entergy is currently looking into firing laser beams into the air to prevent birds from getting fried...
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