More News From The Lamar Electric Zoo

More news from the Lamar Electric zoo and things we are doing to keep your lights on.
After this past Sunday’s storm, we started hearing from members living in the far northwest corner of Lamar County near Unity/Georgia communities that their lights keep blinking. The blinks were occurring on days of little wind and no stormy weather. A contractor got the bid to clear this right of way last year but due to lots of rain is behind schedule and has not started this job. Our linemen assumed tree limbs were the problem and spent hours looking for the worst limbs. After several limbs were cut the real issue was located.
Lightning had blown a lightning arrester apart, leaving only the top cap dangling on the jumper wire, near the transformer top. Birds would land on the cap and their added weight pushed the wire and cap down onto the transformer. The bird would fall to the ground, and another would soon take its place. For some reason several birds liked this place to set, till they met their doom. We suspect they may have been attracted by the shiny melted metal where prior contact was made.
You will note the jumper wire we use to connect transformers are covered in heavy rubber to help protect wildlife. The rubber didn’t help the birds in this case because of the exploded lightning arrester.
Broken Lightning arrester
Wednesday night many people lost power west of Paris in the Toco area around 2 AM. A raccoon had found his way to one of our regulators and shorted a wire out. You’ll see in this picture the wildlife guard is in place on one of the high voltage insulator/connectors but has blown off the other one. These wildlife guards are made of plastic and snap together. These measures are standard for Lamar Electric because of the rural areas we serve. Without this added protection there would be a lot more blinks and outages due to wildlife making their way to the top of transformers.
This is a favorite location for squirrels in autumn.Racooon Caused Outage

Right of Way Updates

Please visit our Right of Way Program page to see up to date maps and information.
We are working hard to make sure your lights stay on. Our Right of Way Program helps make that happen. By clearing trees and spraying brush, our members are less likely to have a power outage caused by limbs or trees falling on the line. You may see men working and their vehicles will be marked to clear the right of way on your property. These men will be wearing hard hats and neon vests. As always, if you spot unusual activity call the sheriff.

Coop Roots Run Deep


The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is celebrating their 75th anniversary. The NRECA is the organization that represents the interests of over 900 electric cooperatives in the United States, to various legislatures. Lamar Electric is one of those 900. In celebration of their 75th year, NRECA will plant a commemorative tree at its Arlington, VA headquarters and Lincoln, NE office that is nourished by soil collected from each of those 900 cooperatives. Lamar Electric has sent a small sample of soil from our cooperative to Arlington, VA. Our Coop Roots Run Deep!

Snake Fence to be installed at Reno Sub

The Lamar Electric substation at Reno has been attacked by snakes. The Lamar Electric substation technician found a snake on the gravel inside the fence on Wednesday. Last night another snake caused an outage for the second time in two weeks. About 3,000 members were without power momentarily while Lamar Electric crews removed the snake and restored power. When Lamar Electric crews were in the substation last night, a fourth snake was found crawling on the gravel.
Lamar Electric is responding by ordering a snake fence for installation around the steel buss work. A snake fence is an electric fence about one inch off the ground above a piece of steel pipe that serves as a good ground. A snake fence has already been installed at a Lamar Electric substation in Red River County that has proved to be effective. While waiting for the snake fence to be installed Lamar Electric has applied snake repellent and moth balls. A “snake trap” will also be placed at the Reno substation. The “snake trap” is an extra-large glue trap, similar to the glue trap that people usually have for bugs or critters around the house.
Birds like to build nest in steel structures like electric substations. The Lamar Electric substation technician is continually removing bird nests to prevent snake issues such as these. The smell of bird eggs will linger for many days after the eggs are gone. The snakes are after the eggs and will slither up the smooth steel and result in shorting out the insulators. Lamar Electric is currently using an ultrasonic sound bird repellent device with multiple speakers located around the substation that sounds like a wounded bird or birds fighting to deter birds from building nests in the substation. The “sonic” bird repellent system was installed at the Reno substation about 5 years ago and coupled with constant removal of birds nest has resulted in no snake issues until recently. It can only be assumed that the birds in the area have gotten accustomed to the recordings.
Lamar Electric is making many efforts to keep snakes out of the substation and will continue in their efforts to prevent snake related outages.