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Just nuts: 1 squirrel causes a NC power outage for 10,000 customers

Joe Marusak, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in News & Features

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — About 10,000 Energy United customers in the Lake Norman area lost power on Saturday morning, and officials quickly identified the perpetrator.

Crews with the power company reported finding a squirrel in the Northcross electrical substation in Huntersville that caused the outage, Energy United said on Twitter.

The company didn’t say if the critter bit through a line or merely contacted a live wire. A company spokesperson couldn’t be reached for comment Saturday.

Customers in the Huntersville and Cornelius areas of northern Mecklenburg County lost power, officials said on Twitter.

Crews “backfed” power to the station before energizing eight circuits individually, according to the company.


At 11:50 a.m., workers restored power to five of the circuits and continued efforts to energize the remaining circuits, officials said on Twitter. “We appreciate your patience!” the company said.

By 12:40 p.m., Energy United reported that all circuits were energized, although one line section was still without power. “Crews are on location and are working to resolve the issue to restore power to the affected members as safely and quickly as possible,” according to the update on Twitter.

Energy United is the largest electric cooperative in North Carolina, with nearly 110,000 members in 19 counties in the central and western parts of the state, according to its website. The coop is the second-largest supplier of residential electricity in North Carolina next to Charlotte-based Duke Energy.


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