Local News

Squirrels cause power outages in Raleigh, Wake, Johnston

Posted January 26, 2011 10:45 a.m. EST
Updated January 26, 2011 11:35 a.m. EST

— Squirrels caused two separate power outages Wednesday morning that affected more than 5,000 Progress Energy customers in Raleigh and southeast of Garner, a company spokesman said.

Power was mostly restored to customers in Raleigh and around the Wake-Johnston County line by late morning, according to the company website.

The outage in Raleigh began around 10 a.m. and was concentrated in two areas: around Five Points and along Capital Boulevard and Wake Forest Road, north from the Oakwood Cemetery area to East Six Forks Road. Traffic lights were out at Glenwood Avenue and St. Mary's Street.

The outage southeast of Garner began around 9:30 a.m.

In both cases, crews found the remains of a squirrel at substations that had malfunctioned, causing the outage, spokesman Mike Hughes said. The Raleigh substation connects to five main distribution lines that serve customers inside and outside the Beltline.

Hughes said that Progress Energy has an animal excluder device to protect equipment, but squirrels sometimes manage to get past it.