City plagued by pesky power outages


November 20, 2015

rat prevention

The Kittitas County Vector Borne Disease Program has a handout flier available for download from its website for homeowners.

According to recent reports, Ellensburg, Wash., has had bad luck when it comes to power outages. In August, one was caused by rats. This can happen when rats chew wires between the fuse and transformer, leading to a short circuit. And while that was Ellensburg’s first rat-related power incident in 2015, the rodents have been the culprit in years previous: Between 2012 and 2013, rats caused seven power outages.

As if the rats aren’t enough of a headache, The Daily Record reports  that a bird flew into a transformer at a local substation on Oct. 20. The incident knocked out power to downtown Ellensburg and other parts of the city for nearly two hours.

Fast forward to Nov. 19, and the city is reeling from a wind and rainstorm, causing more outages and some flooding, according to The Daily Record coverage.

Rats have been a public issue in Ellensburg since 2012 — and the aftermath of this latest storm will provide them with even more harborage. The Kittitas County Public Health Department asks that citizens take steps to ensure the rat problem doesn’t become an infestation. The county website’s Vector Borne Disease Program page includes PDF links with helpful hints for homeowners to take action in protecting their properties, as well as links to the contact information of several local pest management professionals (PMPs).



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