Residents of the Grobbendonk area (Antwerp Kempen District) had started to get used to the recent spate of mysterious outages affecting their power supplies. The power cuts never lasted very long, but were a definite nuisance. One high voltage cable was affected for no more than a few seconds, but it happened every day. Elia technicians checked the cable, but struggled to discover the cause of the outages. That was until just before 10PM last night. Technicians at the scene quickly identified the problem: a flock of storks that had landed on the high voltage cable and were minded to spend the night there.
Elia now believes it’s when the storks spread their wings and approach high voltage cables too closely that the problems are triggered: the power is cut and it takes a few seconds before a different cable can take over the job
An immediate solution is not in the offing. Mayor Marianne Verhaert says that residents will just have to wait until the storks seek out other climes.
Elia has asked Fluvius, the medium voltage network operator, to see if they can organise a diversion over their network. It still remains to be seen whether this will provide a working solution.