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October 11, 2011 / Dave Gorham

It’s Raining WHAT? (Part Three)

What kind of barracuda can cause a total blackout for a town of 400? A flying barracuda.

Regular barracuda (not flying). Image: Wikipedia

Last November, from out of the clear blue Florida sky, a three-foot long barracuda took power down for the residents of Florida’s Duck Key. With the scent of seafood in the air, life returned to normal without much fanfare about an hour later. Seems an osprey plucked the fearsome-looking ocean fish out of the Atlantic and then accidentally (we assume) dropped the fish. Whether the ‘cuda was alive or dead on the way down is unknown, but its fate was sealed when it landed across all three phases of the Florida Keys Electrical Coop’s power system.

Duck Key, Florida. Image: Google Maps

Though this happened in November of last year, it remains a key lesson in business continuity. Can you plan for a large bird to drop a large fish onto your electric power generation facility which, in turn, causes a total blackout for all of your customers? No. Can you plan for the unexpected power outage, no matter the reason? Yes. Our experts at

ImpactReady can provide just such guidance to help you prepare just such plans.

Earlier this week I posted about blackouts and how they seem more prevalent on the east coast of the United States than other areas such as the Midwest. As an example, power utilities in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York average 214 minutes of non-weather or disaster-related outages per year with the national average being 202 minutes. Despite the occasional barracuda, the Florida Keys Electrical Coop averages just 45 minutes of power interruptions each year.

It’s Raining WHAT? Part 1
It’s Raining WHAT? Part 2


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