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Iguana causes 'large-scale' power outage in South Florida city

The city's electric utility restored power in about 35 minutes.
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Posted at 11:05 PM, Dec 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-08 12:13:25-05

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — Iguanas can cause all kinds of problems in South Florida — including causing power outages.

The city of Lake Worth Beach tweeted late Wednesday morning that there was a large-scale outage caused by an iguana. The issue occurred at the city's Sixth Avenue substation.

The city said that the outage affected customers in the South East area of their service area.

Jason Bailey, Lake Worth Beach's assistant director of system operations, said the power was restored within 35 minutes.

City spokesman Ben Kerr said the outage impacted 1,431 customers.

Kerr said an iguana got on top of a transformer and "took out" the substation.

He said they have a team that has been working to remedy wildlife problems that can impact the power grid.

An iguana caused a "large-scale' power outage on Dec. 7, 2022, at the Sixth Avenue substation in Lake Worth Beach.
An iguana caused a "large-scale' power outage on Dec. 7, 2022, at the Sixth Avenue substation in Lake Worth Beach.

Kerr said the city is currently undergoing a system hardening and reliability improvement project to alleviate these types of problems.

"The iguanas are a particularly complex issue but one that we, and other utilities, are addressing," Kerr said in a statement.

Green iguanas are not native to Florida and can also cause damage to residential and commercial landscape vegetation, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

In addition, wildlife experts say the reptiles can cause damage to infrastructure by digging burrows that erode and collapse sidewalks, foundations, seawalls, berms and canal banks.

Click here to track outages.

This story was originally published by WPTV in West Palm Beach, Florida.