On Sunday, November 18, people near Buffalo, New York, mysteriously lost power. The outage affected more than 12,500 people.
The reason for the widespread power outage? A mischievous squirrel.
According to officials, a squirrel got into a control house at the Lancaster substation and “made contact with two energized units.” That triggered two other substations, which also shut down.
A spokesperson for the New York State Electric and Gas Corporation (NYSEG) said: “The squirrel did damage to equipment in the substation he was in, but the system worked the way it was designed to. It shut itself down when it saw trouble. That’s why it took longer to bring the one substation back on. We had to fix what the squirrel broke.”
Luckily, power was restored within a few hours. Unfortunately, the squirrel did not survive the incident.
Although this might seem unusual, squirrels are actually a leading cause of power outages around the country. In fact, wildlife (especially squirrels) were the leading cause of outages in 2014, followed by equipment failure, weather, and vegetation.
People in the Buffalo area immediately took to social media to laugh about the squirrel causing the power outage. One woman wrote: “The 12,000 people without power right now can blame a squirrel. I cannot make this up.”
Watch the video below to learn more about the upstate New York power outage!
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