The good people that live around Willow could be excused for thinking Mother Nature was out to get them on Monday.
In the span of less than three hours, that area experienced not one but two power outages — the first, smaller outage caused by a beaver cutting a tree down into a power line, the second outage caused by two ravens flying into a substation and taking out a breaker.
What in the name of Alfred Hitchcock and Daphne du Maurier is going on?
Well, nothing, really.
It’s simply the price we as Alaskans pay to live where we do.
Here in Alaska, we have unprecedented access to the wild. Our access to nature — and all the creatures it contains — is the envy of the Lower 48. New York City might have a more reliable power supply, but residents of New York City don’t have bald eagles hanging out on the roof of their grocery store.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists pay a pretty penny to fly, drive and float up here to experience all that we have just for a day or two. We get to experience Alaska year-round, and occasionally that experience is going to come with a power outage or two.
In Ketchikan, we’re no stranger to outages. This year alone we’ve lost ravens and eagles to power lines — and paid the price of having to wait a few hours to cook dinner.
With storm season upon us, it seems wise to go over some basics. During a power outage, Ketchikan Public Utilities recommends a few easy to follow steps: Close your doors and windows to conserve heat, use flashlights rather than candles for emergency lighting to avoid the risk of fire, and keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed.
As if it needed to be said, do not, under any circumstances, touch or go near downed power lines.
KPU also offers a guide on how to safely operate a home generator here: http://www.city.ketchikan.ak.us/public_utilities/documents/generatoruse6.pdf.
We’re lucky to live where we do, but our beautiful view of the Tongass Narrows and our ready access to deer, bear, salmon, eagles, ravens and whales comes with the occasional inconvenience.
Going forward, let’s try to be patient the next time a bird hits a line. We can all agree that the eagle pays the higher price.
— Ketchikan Daily News,