Squirrel knocks out power to 5,000 in Kelowna

. Global News

More than five thousand FortisBC customers found themselves without power Monday morning because of a squirrel.

An estimated 5,345 FortisBC customers west of Gordon Drive and north of Bernard Avenue to Knox Mountain lost power just before 9:00 a.m.

The utility said the power outage was caused by a squirrel who got into a substation on Recreation Avenue.

“Despite our efforts to protect the station and have the chain-link fence…birds and other wildlife can still get in there where they can short the line and cause the outage,” said FortisBC spokesperson Karen Zukas.

“It doesn’t occur very often, but it does occur as birds and squirrels do get onto power lines and into the stations despite our protections.”

FortisBC said power was restored within an hour of the outage.

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The squirrel died while causing the power outage.