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Snake Knocks Out Ballwinites' Electricity

A dastardly reptile took out power for more than 14,000 people around Ballwin and more throughout St. Louis County on Thursday.

More than 14,000 customers around Ballwin lost their electrical power Thursday morning, the Ameren Missouri website reported, but the culprit behind the outage wasn't weather nor construction.

"(It was) Mother Nature seeking revenge or whatever you want to call it, but a snake got into one of our substations," said Kent Martin, spokesman for Ameren Missouri. “It’s that time of year and they’re looking for food, so they’ll climb trees hoping to get in and try to make a nest.”

Martin said the snake, or "what was left of it," was found inside a transformer at a substation outside Marshall, ultimately causing an outage for about 25,000 people throughout West St. Louis County.

"It's a little bit different, but like I said, critters can find a way," Martin said. "We put down snake repellent—you name it. But they find a way in."

Martin said the restoration process for the vast majority of affected customers took about 31 minutes.

“We’re down to very few right now.”

Martin said that included a relatively small number of customers around Affton and Webster Groves as of about 11:15 a.m. At that time, crews still were on site at the substation making the necessary repairs, Martin said.

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