News and Tribune

November 11, 2013

Substation 1, Squirrel 0: Critter causes power outage in Jeffersonville

About 3,800 Duke Energy customers lost electricity Sunday


JEFFERSONVILLE — An adventurous but unlucky squirrel caused about 3,800 Duke Energy customers to lose power for just over an hour Sunday.

The power outage began at about 9 a.m. Sunday, when a squirrel managed to infiltrate the substation along Kentucky Avenue in Jeffersonville.

“A squirrel got into a place it shouldn’t have been on the substation bus, and it caused the breaker to operate and locked out the breaker until we could get there and clear it up and restore service,” said Duke Energy Spokesperson Pat More.

Outages at substations are uncommon, and happen on average less than once per year, More said.

“It doesn’t happen every day,” More said. “It’s not 100 percent preventable, either.”

More said that outages caused by animals tend to be more localized because of the proximity of trees to distribution feeders.

“Usually there’s not a lot of trees around the substations,” More said.

The squirrel did not survive the incident, More said.