LEWISTON — Another nice day in Lewiston, another dead squirrel and another power outage.
Roughly 4,000 people lost power in the downtown area Wednesday morning after a squirrel caused damage at the Lewiston Lower Substation off Lisbon Street.
The squirrel did not survive.
For about an hour, Central Maine Power customers in the neighborhoods along Webster, Pleasant and Lisbon streets were in the dark for the fourth time in less than a month.
Several customers pointed out that it always seems to happen when the weather is good and the squirrels are particularly active. CMP officials took to social media to assure customers that a fix is in the works — and to confirm the source of Wednesday’s outage.
“Indeed it was a squirrel that caused the outage,” CMP spokeswoman Gail Rice wrote. “The Lewiston Loop project to improve reliability in the city is under construction now and includes upgrades to the substation where we had trouble today. Things will get better!”
CMP uses animal guards to protect its equipment, officials said, but it’s not always enough to keep out crafty critters.
In late January, the downtown lost power on three consecutive days, again because of squirrels coming into contact with energized equipment.
Retired engineer Ken Rogers, who suffered his fourth outage in a month Wednesday, suggested that maybe squirrels are just craftier and meaner than they used to be.
“The millennium squirrels are more aggressive,” Rogers said, “than the Gen-X or boomer squirrels of the past.”
“The millennium squirrels are more aggressive than the Gen-X or boomer squirrels of the past.” — Retired engineer Ken Rogers,