Raven causes power outage

A raven that got too close to a substation transformer sparked an outage Saturday afternoon. About 5,200 customers scattered around Whitehorse lost power around 2:15 p.m.

A raven that got too close to a substation transformer sparked an outage Saturday afternoon.

About 5,200 customers scattered around Whitehorse lost power around 2:15 p.m., said ATCO spokesperson Stephanie Cunha.

“The raven came into contact with what is known as the ‘bus’ in our substation,” Cunha said.

It’s the central part of the substation, where power is stored, that is responsible for distributing it to the different communities through distribution lines, she explained.

Cunha compared the bus to a large water tank, with different pipes coming out of it.

A crack in a water line will only affect that particular pipe, she explained, but a crack in the main tank will affect all of them, like it did on Saturday.

In this case, the outage affected residents and business owners in Marwell, Porter Creek, Takhini, Valleyview, McIntyre, Logan, Arkell, half of Copper Ridge and some sections of downtown Whitehorse.

Power was restored to customers in multiple stages between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Cunha said it’s not common for ravens or other wildlife to fly directly into the bus. About 30 per cent of all outages in Whitehorse are caused by wildlife, she added.

Contact Myles Dolphin at


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