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Squirrel Blamed For Knocking Out Power Thursday To 9,000 Customers in Mountain View

Power was restored to nearly 9,000 PG&E customers in Mountain View this morning after an outage caused by a squirrel coming into contact with electrical equipment, a PG&E spokeswoman said.

The power failure was reported at 6:25 a.m. today and affected 8,957 customers at its peak but electricity was restored to all at 8:02 a.m., PG&E spokeswoman Monica Tell said.

After an investigation, PG&E ruled that the outage happened when a squirrel encroached on a circuit breaker, Tell said.

The outage covered an area that included Central Avenue, Rengstroff Avenue, Middlefield Avenue and San Antonio Road, PG&E officials said.

As of about 7:30 a.m., power had been restored to all but 3,890 customers, according to PG&E.

Animals causing outages is not a frequent occurrence and PG&E protects its equipment from them, "but we can't control where the animals go," Tell said.

"It's not often it happens, but animals do come in contact with our equipment from time to time," Tell said.

Squirrels regularly traverse power lines that have protective coverings and do not cause power failures, Tell said.

--Bay City News

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