Power outage caused by a critter


June 27th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A power outage Sunday morning in parts of Pottawattamie, Cass and Shelby Counties had nothing to do with the weather. Tina Potthoff, spokesperson for Mid-American Energy based in Des Moines, said a furry bandit was responsible. She says a raccoon made its way into a substation at 220 Pearl Street in Walnut. The result was a total of 806 customers who lost power.

In particular, 152 customers were left in the dark in Marne, while 654 persons in Pottawattamie County and a smattering of customers in Cass and Shelby Counties were left without power. The incident happened at around 5:04-a.m. Power was restored at around 10-a.m.

Potthoff says when a critter such as a raccoon or squirrel enters a substation, they typically get into the electrical wiring, which typically results in the animal’s demise, along with a power outage.