How Did A Squirrel KO Power in WRJ?
A total of 556 customers lost power because of a squirrel last Thursday.
The power was out a half hour after in White River Junction after a pole caught fire. Green Mountain Power and the Hartford Fire Department worked to solve the problem around 3 p.m.
Most squirrels weigh no more than a pound, but they are the biggest menace for power companies.
Squirrels cause about half of the power outages in the United States, according to The American Public Power Association.
The rodents gnaw on equipment, traverse power lines and wreak havoc and destruction.
Squirrel-caused power outages are so prevalent, The American Public Power Association created a "squirrel index" to track squirrel-related outages month-to-month, while Cyber Squirrel 1, a blogger, mapped squirrel destruction throughout the world by reviewing news reports since 1987.
Cyber Squirrel 1 found squirrels have killed power in Wallingford, Connecticut, Wilmington, Massachusetts and Santa Clara, California this month alone.
Why are these furry creatures so menacing?
It's all in the tail.
"They have big, bushy tails,” said Green Mountain Power Company spokesperson Dorothy Schnure.
Schnure said Green Mountain Power, like other power companies, has "squirrel protection,” around transformers—rollers attached to power lines spin and cause a rodent to fall. GMP also has fences around substations, but the pesky animals often find ways in.
It’s impossible, Schnure said, to have squirrel protection on every Green Mountain Power line.
Schnure said the biggest cause of power outages in Vermont is trees. But bird nests and rodents have done their share of damage.