Rodents cause short-circuit explosion at GEBE transformer station, engine damage | THE DAILY HERALD

GEBE’s transformer station.


~ Load shedding this week to repair damage ~

PHILIPSBURG–Utilities company GEBE on Monday experienced a series of technical difficulties caused by a short-circuit explosion at one of its transformer stations due a rodent infestation spurred by illegal dumping in the area.

GEBE said in a press release on Tuesday that its transformer stations are electrical substations that transform the electricity distribution from high to low voltage for distribution to customers, serving a critical role in the company’s operations.

GEBE said upon further assessment of the situation, it was detected that residents were illegally dumping garbage in the vicinity of (in front of and next to) the company's transformer stations.

“As a direct result, rodents are attracted, causing an infestation in and around the area. Despite ongoing efforts to close all passageways, it was discovered that the high-voltage section became infested, which caused a short-circuit explosion at the transformer station, along with extensive damage to one of the engines,” GEBE said in the release.

GEBE urged the public to avoid putting garbage next to or in close proximity to the transformer stations. “It's not only an attraction for rodents, which are prone to causing substantial damage, but it is also a major safety hazard for the technicians who have to work at these locations. Therefore, public cooperation would be greatly appreciated to throw all garbage and debris in the designated dumping areas. Please do not throw any items in/around NV GEBE's transformer stations. Let's work together to keep the island clean and safe in order to limit the inconvenience it causes to all,” stated GEBE.

GEBE said it will be load shedding at various intervals during this week, which is directly related to Tuesday night’s incident. “This temporary interruption in power supply is necessary for essential maintenance work to the damaged engine. Affected areas may experience power outages lasting between 60 and 90 minutes on multiple occasions,” GEBE said, adding, “We understand the inconvenience that this may cause and sincerely apologise for any disruption to your daily routine. Our team is working diligently to ensure minimal inconvenience and a swift restoration of services.”

Source: The Daily Herald