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EWEB says squirrel-related power outage on Saturday was extremely rare
2019/11/20   HyperLink
A squirrel was behind a power outage that affected around 3,000 customers this weekend. Just after 11 on Saturday morning, EWEBwas notified of a power outage in South Eugene. EWEB spokesperson Joe Harwood says a squirrel ran into their Dillard substation causing the outage. Unfortunately, the squirrel did not survive. Harwood says EWEB takes many precautions to keep animals away from their powerlines and substations, but this happens occasionally, especially in the fall. “Some of the parts that have moveable switches, we can't cover them entirely,” said Harwood. “So an animal can actually get across the rounded steel structures and on to an energized device and that's what happened when we lost the Dillard substation on Saturday." Harwood says less than five percent of outages are caused by animals, and that they usually only affect a few customers. So this incident was extremely rare. Customers had their power back on about 4 hours after the outage.