Squirrel Causes Richmond Power Outage

Thousands lose electricity when substation short-circuits

Monday, Nov 3, 2008  |  Updated 5:20 PM EDT
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Squirrel Causes Richmond Power Outage

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

A squirrel caused a power outage in Richmond Friday.

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RICHMOND, Va. -- A squirrel caused a massive power outage in Richmond that eventually affected thousands of customers.

The curious animal short-circuited a Dominion Virginia Power substation on Friday morning, and crews making repairs to that facility caused a second substation to shut down.

At the height of the outages, about 6,000 Dominion customers in Richmond were in the dark.

Power was out along a significant stretch downtown, disabling traffic signals at several major intersections for most of the day.

There also were reports of people stuck in elevators in several buildings, including on Virginia Commonwealth University's main academic campus. Some businesses also were forced to close.

The squirrel did not survive.

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