Squirrel causes brief power outage in Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Well, this was nuts.

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A power outage in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Wednesday was caused when a squirrel got into a substation, energy officials said. The animal caused 10,000 customers and two schools to be without power, WVEC-TV reported.

Bonita Billingsley Harris, a spokesperson for Dominion Energy, said in a tweet that the power went out at about 8:45 a.m. EDT. She tweeted about the outage 90 minutes later.

“The squirrel got between a circuit breaker and a transformer, causing a power surge that made the transformer fail,” Harris told WVEC.

Dominion officials expected power to be restored between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., but crews were able to get power back for about half the people in the affected areas shortly after the lights went out, WAVY-TV reported.

By about 9:45 a.m. EDT, there were 2,474 customers without power out of the 752,242 in the southeastern Virginia region, The Virginian-Pilot reported. At 10:14 a.m., Harris tweeted that “all the lights are back on.”

Harris said the power was restored after 69 minutes, as the power company rerouted a majority of its customers to alternate circuits, WVEC reported.

The squirrel is not believed to have survived the power surge, WAVY reported.

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