A suicidal squirrel caused a 35-minute power outage Wednesday afternoon that effected a large portion of Hope and the surrounding area.
The rodent caused a short at Hope Water and Light’s East Substation at 1200 South Edgewood around 12:45 p.m. The shock fried the squirrel and caused a loud roaring sound as the power flickered and then went out.
Neighbors of the substation say the ground shook as the substation shorted out. Sparks from the short-circuit caused a small brush fire near the substation that was extinguished by a Hope Police Department detective as he arrived on the scene.
Several traffic lights lost power, including all of those along South Main. Clinton Primary School was affected, along with Beryl Henry Elementary School, Yerger Middle School, Hope High School and UACCH. The radio stations and TV station for Hope and Prescott were off the air for the duration of the outage.
Hope Water and Light got the power back on around 1:20 p.m.