Squirrel to blame in temporary power outage in Minneapolis

Squirrel to blame in temporary power outage in Minneapolis

Posted For: Willie Wonka

By Evan Simko-Bednarski

Ah, nuts.

Nearly 10,000 Minneapolis residents were left in the dark thanks to a pesky squirrel that disrupted power transmission Sunday.

“What happened is that a squirrel came into contact with some of our equipment that caused the outage,” Lacey Nygard, a spokesperson for energy provider Xcel, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The morning blackout lasted just under a hour before crews restored the bulk of the power, Xcel said.

There was no word on the squirrel’s condition.

The American Public Power Association has said squirrels and other animals are the most frequent cause of outages nationwide, according to a Washington Post analysis.

The problem is particularly pronounced where overheat transmission lines run among the trees squirrels call home. The rodents will often inadvertently cause a short — and electrocute themselves — while using the lines to travel from tree to tree.

Even New York City — largely devoid of the overhead power lines where squirrels like to scamper — is not immune. Back in 2012, a gang of street-smart Queens squirrels terrorized the Glen Oaks Village co-op, cutting off power and causing a car to catch fire.

“The squirrels in this neighborhood are the most arrogant,’’ a resident told The Post at the time. “They look at you like, ‘What are you going to do about it?’ ”


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