Squirrel, storm causes power outages

MIDDLEBURY — A wayward — and unlucky — squirrel caused a widespread Sunday morning power outage in Middlebury that lasted more than an hour, a Green Mountain Power spokesperson said.
GMP’s Jeremy Baker said 1,652 customers served by the company’s downtown Middlebury substation in the Marble Works lost power at 7:42 a.m. on Sunday after the squirrel “made contact” with the top of a bank of transformers and shorted out their fuses.
Baker said GMP was able to shift service to two other area substations and start getting customers back on line by 8:56 a.m. Power returned to all customers by 9:09 a.m., he said.
GMP crews were already out in force because of Saturday night’s heavy wind during a thunderstorm, which knocked down many tree limbs and caused 2,600 GMP customers around the county to lose power for varying amounts of time.
Baker said that situation helped speed the return of the Middlebury substation to service.
“The fortunate thing one way or another was we already had crews working,” he said. “We were able to reroute somebody to the substation.”
Of course, the Sunday morning issue came on top of GMP’s busy night working hard to restore power around the county and responding to calls from anxious customers.
“A lot of people were asking a lot of questions, and then it ended up being a squirrel,” he said. “Once we figured out what had taken place there it wasn’t that hard to put it back together.” 

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