Squirrel knocks out power to thousands

Thunderstorms and lightning strikes have caused a number of power outages in recent months, but the cause of an outage this morning was a squirrel.

The Upper Peninsula Power Company says a mechanical failure caused a large outage to occur around 3:00am EST time today.  It happened at the Barnum Substation in the city of Ishpeming.

UPPCO spokesperson Lisa Prunty said in a press release, “Unfortunately a squirrel made contact with the components within the substation.”

The incident led to 7,800 UPPCO customers in the city of Ishpeming and surrounding area to be without electricity for a little more than an hour.  Prunty went on to credit UPPCO crews and dispatch for taking care of the issue so quickly.