Causes of Outages

The cause of an outage can vary and can also affect the length of the restoration process. Below are some of the most common causes of outages:


Did you know animals are one of the top causes of electric outages? Despite the barriers and protective equipment in place, small animals can climb onto or inside certain pieces of equipment causing it to shut down, thus interrupting the flow of power to customers.

Weather- Wind, Lightning, and Ice

During storms, high winds and lightning are common causes of outages. High winds may cause power lines to touch. Lightning may strike electrical equipment or nearby objects causing them to fall onto lines or poles. Freezing rain or sleet can create a buildup of ice on power lines and trees eventually causing lines to break.


Trees and tree limbs are a major cause of outages in all weather conditions. Whether it’s windy, stormy, icy or sunny outside, tree limbs can fall on power lines and poles. Because of this, Jackson Energy Authority takes proactive steps throughout the year to trim trees that threaten our power lines. This helps reduce outages and helps restoration efforts in the event of a storm. Find out more about tree pruning and trimming.

Vehicles and Construction

Vehicle accidents involving utility poles may cause an outage. Poles may be damaged, causing power lines to break or touch. Also, accidental contact with underground or overhead power lines at construction sites can cause power outages. Remember to call 811 so that all underground utility lines can be located before you plan to dig. From simple landscaping projects like planting trees or shrubs, to building a deck or installing a mailbox, place a call to Tennessee 811 before every digging project.