Mother nature was responsible for a power outage that caused more than 400 East Lansing residents to lose power, but not in the way one might expect.
A squirrel chewing through fuses caused blackouts in the neighborhoods surrounding Trowbridge Road and Lilac Avenue near the south side of campus. Consumers Energy Spokesperson Terri DeDoes said outages occurred from 12:45-3:43 p.m. Monday.
“It appeared to be an issue in the substation,” he said.
DeDoes said a squirrel somehow got into the substation and chewed away at some wires causing the fuses to short circuit.
The outages caused residences, businesses and traffic lights to be out. The East Lansing Police Department helped direct traffic at busy intersections along Harrison and Trowbridge roads.
Cadet Ryan Boyer said there were no reported incidents of accidents caused by the outages.
“We’re just doing regular routines that we have an officer visible at the sites,” he said. “The outages have been taken care of pretty quickly.”
Although outages bordered the southern end of campus, MSU spokesman Kent Cassella said there were no reported incidents on campus.
DeDoes said 446 customers were showing power failures. One of those residents was Faith Kirk who lives on Sever Drive. Kirk said she noticed the power was out and checked the company’s Web site for updates.
“I thought it was related to the storm,” she said. “I thought maybe there was a tree down or something.”
Kirk said she wasn’t too concerned about the loss of power, but was worried that the later the traffic lights were off the higher risk it could be to drivers.
“It wasn’t too bad earlier,” Kirk said. “I’ll be concerned when it gets to be four or five and traffic starts to increase.”
Power has been restored for people living in that area.