ATLANTIC — With power restored after an outage on Friday morning, the number one question was, what caused it?
Steve Tjepkes of Atlantic Municipal Utilities explained what happened, saying power went out for about 700 customers in Atlantic at about 8:45 a.m. on Friday.
He said the cause of the outage was unknown initially, but crews were out working on it at a number of locations. The outage area was from about Second Street to 10th Street; and from Locust to Mulberry. Tjepkes said phones were ringing off the hook at AMU, with people calling in the outage and asking about when power might be back on.
Crews were able to restore power with some customers coming back on at about 9:30 a.m. and he said, “The last batch came on about 10:30 a.m.”
Some other locations, like the AMU office, only saw what Tjepkes called a “hard blink” where power went off for a couple seconds and then resumed.
Some of the possible causes suggested were downed lines and blown transformers, but Tjepkes said the actual cause was… a squirrel.
“A squirrel got in the line and caused the line to burn down, leading to other issues,” and causing the death of the squirrel, he said,
“Squirrels are the number one cause of outages,” he said.
There were lines with burned wires, and a variety of other issues that needed to be fixed, but it was handled as quickly as possible.
When asked about how many squirrel related issues they had, Tjepkes said they see about 12 a year.
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