Bald eagle causes power outage in Hudson Sunday

An eagle made contact with equipment at a power substation serving Hudson customers Sunday, according to Xcel Energy.
An eagle made contact with equipment at a power substation serving Hudson customers Sunday,...
An eagle made contact with equipment at a power substation serving Hudson customers Sunday, according to Xcel Energy.(Wes Reeves Xcel Energy)
Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 9:44 AM CST
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HUDSON, Wis. (WEAU) - Hundreds of people in Hudson were without power for a couple of hours on Sunday after an outage was caused by a bald eagle.

The Hudson Police Department posted on Facebook Sunday afternoon that a power outage had been caused by a bald eagle flying into a power line.

Xcel Energy said in a statement that a bird made contact with equipment at a power substation serving Hudson customers at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, which caused a brief outage lasting about a minute for around 2,700 customers. A second outage then affected 860 customers for two and a half hours.

In the statement, Xcel Energy said that an observer in the Hudson area believed that the bird was a bald eagle. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was called in to remove the deceased eagle, and power was restored to all customers.

We are aware of the power outage. Unfortunately an American Bald Eagle flew into a power line and caused the outage. The proper authorities have been contacted for the power outage and the deceased eagle.

Posted by Hudson WI Police Department on Sunday, January 15, 2023

Customers can help Xcel Energy get a jump on power restoration by reporting outages. Customers have several ways to report outages.

  • Through the My Xcel Energy mobile app, available in the Apple App Store and through Google Play.
  • Online at
  • By calling 1-800-895-1999 and following the prompts—the automated phone reporting system lets customers report outages in less than 60 seconds. Once the cause of the problem is identified, the system or an Xcel Energy representative will provide customers with an estimated restoration time when available.

Stay informed: If outages occur, it’s important for customers to have access to the most recent updates about their power restoration. Customers can stay informed by using the My Xcel Energy mobile app or visiting the Xcel Energy website. The website hosts an outage map that displays information on the number of customers out and anticipated time for restoration when available. Customers can also stay informed by following Xcel Energy on Facebook and Twitter.

Other ways customers can prepare, stay safe:

  • Build a home emergency kit. Xcel Energy recommends assembling an easily accessible kit that you can rely on in the event of a power outage.
  • Keep gas meters clear. Clearing snow and ice from natural gas meters is key to avoiding the potential for dangerous natural gas buildup indoors due to vents becoming sealed when covered in ice and snow melt drip on it during the day and refreeze at night. Xcel Energy strongly recommends keeping the entire meter assembly clear of snow and ice. Gently remove snow or ice from the meter, associated piping and the roofline above the meter. Check often to ensure melting snow isn’t dripping on the meter from the roof or nearby trees. Use a shovel around a meter to move snow away; avoid using your snowblower near a meter.
  • Heating safety. Xcel Energy encourages homeowners to take advantage of rebates and incentives to install energy efficient furnaces and insulation. If you chose to use a space heater, take care to ensure safety as more than 65,000 home fires are attributed to heating equipment each year in the United States, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says that power outages can cause situations that threaten health or safety. Here are some general tips about how to navigate the loss of electricity:

  • An electrical power outage or interruption may cause operational problems with your furnace. If your furnace is not operating, be careful of hazards, which can occur from alternative heating sources.
  • Do NOT use alternative heating sources such as space heaters, grills, and other appliances that can give off dangerous gases. These appliances must be properly vented. Carbon monoxide is a concern. The use and ventilation of portable power generators must be carefully monitored.
  • If you use electrical heaters powered by portable generators, be careful where you place the heater and do not leave the heater unattended.
  • When a power outage occurs, food safety becomes a concern.
  • If you have electrical problems, call the your local utility company.

Xcel Energy’s power outage map can be located here. Xcel Energy also offers tips on safety during power outages, which you can read here.