Six-foot bull snake disrupts power in Bangs after damaging Oncor equipment

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
File footage of a bull snake, 2017.

BANGS — Bangs Mayor Rick Phelps had seen enough snakes while serving in Iraq as an Army soldier, and he doesn't care for them at all.

Phelps saw another snake early Sunday morning — or, what was left of a six-foot bull snake that got into the Oncor substation near J.B. Stephens Elementary School late Saturday night. The snake caused damage that left Bangs without power until Sunday afternoon. Some residents were left without water, Phelps said.

Phelps kept residents informed via Facebook posts.

"Oncor employees explained that a six-foot bull snake got into a regulator, which fried several components," Phelps said in a 4:10 a.m. post. "Thanks goodness it is not freezing."

Oncor employees had to drive to the Metroplex to get a new regulator. 

Rick Phelps

“When they started digging into it, they started noticing that the damage was worse than what they had originally anticipated, which is why a lot of the folks didn’t get power back until between 4 and 5 Sunday afternoon,” Phelps said.

Phelps said he first noticed a problem shortly before midnight Saturday when several electrical components in his home stopped working. At 12:17 a.m. Sunday, power was completely out.

With the town and streets totally dark, representatives of the Bangs police and fire departments worked together for traffic control, Phelps said.

Phelps was sworn in as Bangs mayor in May 2021.

The Brookesmith Special Utility District also issued a statement Sunday, saying some of its customers were without water service because :a large bull snake got into the power grid and shut things down."