Squirrel - Power fails for about 250 households

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8.9.2000 Power fails for about 250 households By S.I. ROSENBAUM Journal Staff Writer

BRISTOL -- When the power went out over sections of town on Monday, some residents assumed that the hot and muggy weather caused the blackout.

But in fact, the power went out for a different reason.

"The cause: squirrel," said Robert Seega, director of public affairs at Narragansett Electric.

The small, furry rodent often causes problems, Seega said.

"We get squirrels that get themselves into various types of electrical equipment ... if they get inside the transformer, they can explode the equipment," he said.

The bang heard by residents of the Narrows Road area was a transformer exploding. The squirrel didn't survive, Seega said.

The blackout affected 240 households on Narrows Road and King Philip Avenue among others. It lasted for an hour and a half, from 1:30 to 3:00 in the afternoon.

"People were standing around in the streets, saying 'Jeeze, we have no electricity,"' said Raymond Stott, of 42 King Phillip Ave, who said he was the first to call the electric company.

Later that evening, there was a second, unrelated power failure in Bristol, Warren and Barrington. This blackout lasted only 15 minutes, Seega said, and unlike the first it was not squirrel-related. Instead, the problem occurred when Narragansett Electric switched customers from one main power line to another to do maintenance work, and accidentally tripped a transformer, Seega said.


-- Doria (reaper1@mindspring.com), August 09, 2000

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