07/01/2013 03:16 pm ET

Squirrel Causes Power Outage In Multnomah County, Oregon


Awww, nuts!

A lone squirrel knocked out the power for almost 10,000 people in Multnomah County, Ore., Monday morning, KOIN reported.

The furry fellow got into the substation at around 7:40 a.m. Monday, causing an outage that left 9,134 customers of Portland General Electric without electricity.

PGE spokeswoman Elaina Medina told Oregon Live that an animal simply has to come into contact with a power line to bring the whole system down.

Medina noted that "Most of the time [the animals] don't survive."

Power was expected to be fully restored around 10 a.m.

The same thing happened near Gladstone, Ore. just days prior, leaving about 5,000 customers without power for about three hours.

Oregon isn't the only place where squirrels are taking down the infrastructure. On June 24, a squirrel crawled into substation equipment in Wichita, Kan., causing a transformer to blow out and starting a fire. Almost 10,000 customers of Westar Energy were out of electricity for about an hour.

In 2012, more than 3,000 people in Northern Virginia lost power when a squirrel got into a substation and blew a transformer in Arlington County. An official noted that while sometimes squirrels survive these kinds of shocking encounters, "the squirrel was killed in this particular incident."



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