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Utility lines damaged because of shots fired in southeast Missouri

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 4:16 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2021 at 6:54 PM CDT
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SIKESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - A Heartland electric company is seeing outages due people shooting birds.

SEMO Electric Cooperative are experiencing these broadband outages because of doves being shot at while on utility lines in southeast Missouri.

Ten occurrences have happened since the start of September for this particular company.

Fiber optic cables have been riddled by bullets, causing damages and outages.

We talked with SEMO Electric Cooperative Fiber Services Manager Loyd Rice who says each incident costs around $10,000 to repair and will interrupt services.

“The data that does flow, that could be e-911 telephone services, that could be a work from home. This year especially, a student that needs to be home doing homework. Those outages again range from about four to our longest one, about 10 hours,” said Loyd.

He said these repairs can be costly on crews and customers.

“It’s actual welding of glass to splice these back together, very time consuming, very costly equipment,” Rice said. “So the nature of your outage for what seems like a real innocent, ‘hey I’m going to shoot the bird off the line’, becomes very costly to the member cooperative.”

Rice hopes people spread the word about this issue before it causes more interruptions.

“We really have to start getting the message out because as our service territory continues to grow, what has become a few thousand is going to be an even bigger impact this time next year,” said Loyd.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says dove season runs until November 29th this year.

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