LEWISTON — Pesky squirrels sparked power outages in the city’s downtown over the weekend and Monday, power company officials said.

“We had several problems with the same circuits out of the same substation over the past several days,” Central Maine Power Co. spokeswoman Gail Rice said.

Downtown residents experienced loss of power Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Two of the three outages have been traced to animal contact, including Monday’s when a squirrel made contact with electrical equipment, Rice said.

In each case, power was restored within an hour, she said.

“Squirrels can get in contact with any one of a number of energized equipment,” Rice said. On Monday, workers were at the downtown substation going through the system “with a fine-toothed comb” to ensure everything was working properly. While they were there, a squirrel made contact with the electrical equipment somewhere on the circuit and it faulted back to the substation, knocking out power once again, Rice said.

Monday’s outage affected 2,230 customers, she said.

“Hopefully, today we’ll get to the root of it and make sure everything’s OK,” Rice said.

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