CULLMAN – Vandalism inside a Cullman Electric Cooperative substation on Friday caused thousands of dollars in damage and resulted in more than 3,000 co-op members being without power for more than an hour.
Co-op members served by the Ebenezer substation in northwest Cullman County were without power for approximately 90 minutes while crews replaced grounding wires that had been stolen overnight.
Cullman Electric Cooperative Engineering Manager Justin Lee said the value of the stolen copper is minimal compared to the cost of repairing damaged equipment, as well as the inconvenience to residents, business and schools that went without power.
“The people who did this could have easily been killed by the electricity inside the substation,” Lee said. “Electrical substations are very dangerous. The amount of electricity a person could come into contact with can easily cause severe burns and in some cases be instantly fatal. That’s why substation gates are locked, and even when co-op employees are working inside the gates remain closed to keep the public out.”
Cullman Electric Cooperative encourages the public to be aware of suspicious activity in or around substations and contact the co-op or local law enforcement.