Squirrel Blamed for Oregon Power Outage Affecting Nearly 2,000

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by Manoj Shah/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, a squirrel caused a power outage in Oregon that left nearly 2,000 people without power. Residents in East Salem, Oregon lost power around 10:42 am on Tuesday. It was restored around noon. A total of 1,952 customers were affected. Portland General Electric got the power back up fairly quickly, and noted that the animal’s actions were unclear. It’s not as intense as this incident, where a squirrel caused a power outage in Minnesota that affected 9,000 people. But, still, squirrels will be squirrels, I suppose.

Earlier this month, Seguin, Texas experienced a second power outage at the hands of raccoons in just three days. On Oct. 1, the town reported an outage after a raccoon infiltrated a substation. The entire town was dark for about two hours. Three days later, on Oct. 3, the same thing happened. A raccoon tampered with a transformer that caused an outage. Lights went out in homes all over town, and the outage also affected traffic lights.

The San Antonio Express-News reported that different raccoons caused both incidents. Unfortunately, both were electrocuted in the infiltrations.

While Squirrels Wreak Havoc in Oregon, a Small Texas Police Department Finds Humor in Raccoon Substation Sabotage

The Seguin Police Department posted a joke on Facebook claiming that “Ricky Raccoon” was in custody after several attempts at transformer sabotage. “On October 1, 2022, at approximately 11:45 pm, the City of Seguin experienced a city-wide power outage,” the post began. “After further investigation, the suspect was described as a black & white male, approximately 2-09, 35 lbs.”

The post included an artist’s rendition of the suspect. “On October 3, 2022, at approximately 8:45 pm, the City of Seguin’s East substation was struck again by the electric bandits,” the post continued. “Through the assistance of Seguin Electric Department, Police took Ricky Raccoon (3, Seguin) into custody. Ricky would not advise if he had further accomplices in his act.

“This is an ongoing investigation,” the post concluded. “And city departments are working to assure our [furry] bandits do not strike again.”

Rodents Cause Brush Fire After Chewing On Electrical Wires

In more animals tampering with electricity news, last month a few rats caused a brush fire in Colorado when they decided chewing on electrical wires was a good and fun activity. The fire started in Waterton Canyon and only burned about a half acre.

The rats got into an electrical box and chewed the wires, which sent sparks into the canyon, igniting dry brush. West Metro and South Metro fire crews were on the scene to attend to the fire. High humidity overnight aided the crews in suppressing the blaze. The fire didn’t threaten any structures or people involved.