Power poles around Austin catching fire due to misty rain, AFD says

Austin
Austin Energy crews have been making repairs due to rain across the city today. (Austin Energy photos)

Austin Energy crews have been making repairs due to rain across the city today. (Austin Energy photos)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Fire Department says it’s had plenty of calls for electrical poles catching on fire Friday.

The explanation the fire department gave was that the light mist falling in the area was reacting with dust on top of the poles, causing the poles to combust and catch fire. AFD said they’ve had 22 calls for such incidents since 12 a.m. Friday, and as of 11:50 a.m., there were five of those calls active around Austin.

AFD says the fires could cause isolated power outages.

Austin Energy posted a photo of one repair its crews made due to the rain in the area of Burnet Road and Anderson Lane. The utility company said an insulator was cracked and the rain, a conductor, allowed power to go through the crack and cause damage.

As of 12:50 p.m., the largest power outage in the area is in Sunset Valley in southwest Austin. It is affecting nearly 2,000 customers.

With power outages, traffic signals may become blinking red lights or be out entirely. If you come to an intersection and that’s the case, treat it like a four-way stop and use caution.

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