A squirrel, not pictured here, temporarily knocked out power to fifteen customers near the governor’s mansion Monday morning. (Courtesy photo | Unsplash)

A squirrel, not pictured here, temporarily knocked out power to fifteen customers near the governor’s mansion Monday morning. (Courtesy photo | Unsplash)

Squirrel temporarily knocks out power

Power was quickly restored, the squirrel was not.

A squirrel interfering with electrical equipment temporarily knocked out power for 15 customers near the Governor’s Mansion, an Alaska Electric Light and Power spokesperson said.

“It happens. They sometimes get where they shouldn’t be,” said Debbie Driscoll, AEL&P’s vice president of consumer affairs in a phone interview. “He basically caused a problem with the fuses.”

AEL&P has closed its lobby, but is maintaining full operations as many other businesses close down to help slow the outbreak of COVID-19.

AEL&P will maintain full service through the outbreak, Discoll said.

“Our crews were on site very quickly, and found it not alive,” Driscoll said. “He-she-it actually caused a fair amount of damage.”

Driscoll says the issue of wildlife causing electrical failures is rare but not unheard of.

Squirrels are a larger issue down south, while birds are a larger problem in Juneau. This is the second incident this year, the first being caused by some manner of bird.

“Outages in general are not particularly common for us, we have a fairly reliable system,” Driscoll said.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757.621.1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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