this happens at least once a year...
MARLOW, Okla. (AP) - After avoiding power outages from recent storms, this community was plunged into darkness by a snake searching for a place to nap.
The bull snake crawled into a breaker box at the city's power station about 2:30 a.m. Thursday and caused a fire that damaged the main transformer, leaving 2,300 customers without electricity for more than 10 hours.
"You've got to laugh about it," Marlow city administrator Janice Cain said of the snake. "What else can you do?"
She said the situation it caused wasn't funny, though. Some restaurants and other businesses had to close.
Patrolling police officers saw the transformer "flash" and found a small fire.
"It was put out easily," she said. "We didn't have to bring in fire trucks, they just used extinguishers but it was an extremely hot fire. It melted metal. ... It doesn't look like that much damage, but it was enough."
Once the fire was out, the officers saw the dead snake, Cain said.
City crews and engineers, along with representatives from the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, Marlow's electricity provider, restored power at about 12:30 p.m.
The extent of damage to the transformer led the power authority to contract with Western Farmers Electric Co. to establish a temporary substation.
Cain said the cost was $10,000, plus a daily fee.
"There was no choice in that," Cain said. "We had an emergency meeting with Marlow Municipal Authority trustees and approved the expenditures."
When asked how big the snake was, Cain estimated it to be 3 to 4 feet in length.
"It depends on if you measured before and after; those are two different things," she said.
I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, stranger, I am ungrateful to these teachers.