THOMASVILLE — Monday night's severe storm was expected to cause power outages. Thomasville Utilities crews were out all night restoring power.
Things were back to normal until Wednesday morning.
Power ceased when a squirrel jumped on top of a transformer. The unsuspecting creature acted like a conductor of electricity and created a fault, causing fuses to blow in the transformer, leaving 28 customers without power.
Squirrels are among the top causes of power outages nationwide, according to the American Public Power Association. In 2016 alone, utilities reported 3,456 outages caused by the ubiquitous rodents that cut off power to more than 193,873 customers.
Chris White, City of Thomasville executive director/public utilities, said the Monday night storm, with wind gusts of 34 miles per hour, knocked out power to 3,369 Thomasville Utilities customers.
Wednesday morning on East Loomis Street, a squirrel's encounter with a transformer resulted in an hourlong outage on East Loomis and South Broad Street.
"Thomasville has a lot of squirrels," White said.
Other critters have met their demise in city substations.
White said said raccoons, opossums, cats and even snakes get into substations and cause problems.
"They trip breakers, which blows transformers," he said.