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Bethesda power outage blamed on squirrel

BETHESDA — Utility officials are blaming a power outage in the Washington suburb of Bethesda on a squirrel.

The Washington Post reports that about 1,200 homes and businesses lost power for less than an hour Sunday starting around 11:20 a.m.

Pepco spokesman Clay Anderson says that repair crews found the remains of an electrocuted squirrel at a Bethesda substation and that the animal was the cause of the power disruption. Around the country, utilities go to great lengths to keep squirrels away from substations and transmission wires.

Sunday’s outage comes weeks after another creature-induced blackout in the Washington area. On Easter Sunday, a snake that ventured into an Upper Marlboro substation briefly knocked out power to about 6,800 homes and businesses.