Wed. Oct 4th, 2023
    Missoula Experiences Power Outages Due to Squirrel Activity

    Missoula, a city in Montana, faced power outages this past weekend, affecting thousands of residents. The interruptions were caused by squirrels damaging a local substation, resulting in temporary loss of electricity for many NorthWestern Energy customers.

    At one point during the weekend, approximately 15,000 customers experienced a 45-minute power outage. The disruptions occurred on Saturday morning, Sunday morning, and Sunday evening. According to NorthWestern Energy, these incidents can all be attributed to squirrels, which are known to be one of the primary causes of power outages.

    The squirrel population in Missoula suffered a decrease of at least three individuals as a result of their involvement in the disruptions. Their actions led to significant inconvenience and frustration for residents who rely on uninterrupted power supply for daily activities.

    The reliability and efficiency of electricity distribution systems can sometimes be compromised by unexpected factors, such as animal interference. It is not uncommon for squirrels to cause damage to substations and power lines. Their presence near electrical equipment poses a risk to both the animals themselves and human inhabitants.

    Power companies like NorthWestern Energy work tirelessly to restore service promptly after such incidents. They analyze the damage, repair any infrastructure that has been affected, and implement preventive measures to minimize future disruptions caused by squirrels and other animals.

    Power outages due to animal-related incidents highlight the need for ongoing maintenance and vigilance in maintaining energy infrastructure. It serves as a reminder that even the smallest and seemingly harmless creatures can have a significant impact on our daily lives and the reliability of essential services.

    Sources: Montana Public Radio