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Why do we have power outages on a sunny day? Sometimes, it’s due to previous storm damage

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Have you ever wondered why the power goes out on a perfectly blue sky day?

Every now and then a squirrel chews through a power line, but most of the time, storms like the ones we saw on November 29, 2016 can leave a lasting impact.

"We had, literally, in every corner of the county -- spotty outages," said Joe Gehrdes, Director of Communications & Public Relations for Huntsville Utilities.

Within just a few days, power lines and poles were replaced after the November 29th tornado.

"I know we had 30 utility poles snapped by the high winds or trees blown into lines, and those type of repairs take some time," said Gehrdes.

Gehrdes says in the aftermath of storms, they can only replace what they know is broken, so small parts can sometimes malfunction.

"That's what that is usually, it's damage done some time ago that we haven't detected and it reveals itself," he explained.

And those moments are usually when the power grid is being used the most.

"Like the next time it gets really cold, and there's a high demand on the system, we may have some equipment that was damaged but we're not aware it was damaged until it gets a heavy load pulled on it," he said.

The surge of rain from the November 29th storms could also play a role.

"During dry spells like these, root systems can get weakened and when the soil gets wet again, those trees are more apt to fall and often when they fall they fall into power lines and again it could be a day like this where we get a stiff breeze," Gehrdes added.

So be prepared. Even if they sky isn't dark, your home could be.

Gehrdes says don't assume Huntsville Utilities knows about a problem with a power pole.  Call if you see any type of problem so they can come out and fix it. Call (256) 53-LIGHT (535-4448) to report an issue.