Pepco Blames Power Outage on Squirrel

Monday, Jun 6, 2011  |  Updated 8:23 AM EDT
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Pepco Blames Power Outage on Squirrel

Mira Keyes

Pepco said the reason over a thousand lost power on Sunday was because of a furry little rodent.

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Diners were eating brunch in the dark in Bethesda Sunday afternoon.  Residents blamed Pepco.

Pepco blamed a squirrel.

Over Easter, when nearly 7,000 residents lost power in Upper Marlboro, the electric utility said a snake had slithered into one of its substations and tripped up the circuits.

On Sunday, when the lights went out on 1,200 business and residential customers, the villain got a little cuter.

Will a panda bear take the rap for the next power outage?

Pepco spokesperson Clay Anderson said an underground feeder circuit was tripped, leading to the outages. The Giant supermarket was without power for an hour and was forced to use its back-up generator.  Upscale boutiques along Bethesda Row were darkened, starting around 11:18 a.m. 

Pepco said the offending squirrel had made its way into a Bethesda substation and caused one of their feeders to go off-line.  By noon, the utility said their crews had restored power to all customers.

Hundreds of homes and businesses were affected by another Pepco power outage on Wednesday, including the D.C. Department of Health.  Cooling centers were set up for residents left without air conditioning during the early-week heat wave.

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