Squirrel Causes Jackson Power Outage

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A squirrel is responsible for a power outage that affects as many as 3,500 Consumers Energy customers in Jackson, the utility confirmed Saturday.

Consumers Spokesman Terry DeDoes said a squirrel got into the Oak St. Substation around 8 a.m. Saturday, damaging the main transformer.

Consumers is isolating the damaged area and rerouting electricity from other circuits. Repairs to the transformer will be made later. Customers are expected to get their power back around 1 p.m.

Animals are common causes of outages, DeDoes said. The warmth and vibration of electrical wires at substations are attractive to wildlife, according to an Oct. 9 Consumers news release. During 2011 and 2012, 63 percent of the wildlife-related substation outages were caused by squirrels, 21 percent by raccoons and 16 percent by birds, according to the release.

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