BROWN TREE SNAKE CUTS GUAM POWER

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By Dionesis Tamondong Pacific Daily News

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (May 16, 2001- Pacific Daily News)---A brown tree snake knocked out power in central and southern parts of the island yesterday, according to the Guam Power Authority.

The snake came in contact with a breaker at the Harmon substation around 6:09 a.m. yesterday, causing power outages in Tamuning, Barrigada, Mangilao, Chalan Pago and parts of the south, said Art Perez, power agency spokesman.

Power was restored to the island about 7:53 a.m., Perez said.

The snake crossed two power lines, acting as a bridge, and caused the electrical disturbance, Perez said.

"To protect itself from damage, our baseload units, Tanguisson 1 and 2 and Cabras 2, isolated themselves from the island wide power system when it recognized the short, and shut off automatically," Perez said.

The non-native snakes, accidentally introduced into Guam after World War II, have been the cause of many power outages in recent years, including a February 28 blackout that left much of the island without power for several hours.

The power agency has worked with the Department of Agriculture during the last four years to help prevent snakes from slithering up power poles and into substations, Perez said.

For additional reports from the Pacific Daily News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Pacific Daily News (Guam).

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