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A squirrel caused a power outage that affected 10,000 people

Monday, October 25th 2021, 3:56 pm - Squirrels can cause a lot of damage.

A squirrel is being blamed for a power outage in Lake Norman, North Carolina Saturday that left around 10,000 customers in the dark, The Charlotte Observer is reporting.

It's not clear how the squirrel caused the outage. It may have come into contact with a live wire, or it could have chewed through a power line. Crews with Energy United, the affected power company, said they found the rodent responsible for the outage in an electrical substation.

Squirrels like to chew on things. They're rodents and their teeth never stop growing, so they'll gnaw on things like wood, metal, plastic, and wires, to keep their teeth from getting too long.

Squirrel outage GIF by Cheryl Santa Maria. Squirrel: Saddako/Getty Images. Cityscape background: Twistah/Getty Images

Believe it or not, power outages caused by squirrels aren't uncommon - and analysis suggests they may cause more financial damage to critical infrastructure than cyber attacks.

Between May 30 and August 31, 2013, there were at least 50 power outages in 24 U.S. states caused by squirrels, the New York Times reports.

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