KEYSTONE HEIGHTS -- A 12-year-old boy shooting a high-powered rifle into the air the afternoon of New Year’s Day left members of Clay Electric Co-op in the Lynne, Silver Springs Shores, Silver Springs and Ocklawaha communities with a loss of power for approximately five hours.
A bullet from the rifle severed a 69,000-volt transmission line owned by Progress Energy. The transmission line supplies power to Clay Electric’s Lynne substation, which serves 5,689 commercial and residential accounts. The outage began at 1:34 p.m. Power was restored at 6:10 p.m. after crews working for Progress Energy made repairs to the 69-kV line. The Lynne substation is located near the intersection of Highway 40 and County Road 314A in Marion County.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has classified the incident as accidental, since the youth claimed he was shooting the rifle at tree limbs and was not targeting the transmission line.
Florida Statutes provide serious legal consequences for anyone convicted of damaging power distribution or transmission lines or equipment.