Squirrel darkens day for many in Columbiana

COLUMBIANA – An unfortunate incident that happens every so often resulted in some of the city being without power for up to four hours Monday.

Doug Sturgeon, the city’s electrical superintendent, said a squirrel got stuck in the south substation and chewed on a main cable, causing the outage.

The squirrel didn’t survive the initial power surge that happened around 11 a.m., and crews didn’t find its body to determine the cause until roughly 6 p.m.

Earlier in the day Sturgeon had guessed some sort of “critter” was responsible for the outage, however, since traces of what originally appeared to be feathers could be seen in the conduit.

The department had power restored to residents around 3 p.m. by switching over the circuit, but crews were still working to fix the cable throughout the day, he said.

He also said the cable will need to be replaced, and possibly the conduit, which could be somewhat costly. Crews were still working there late into the evening and Sturgeon anticipated the problem would be totally corrected by today.

Interim City Manager Mike Harold said the outage at the substation east of Park Avenue left only portions of the city without power.

City School Superintendent Don Mook said power was out at the high school and middle school buildings for about an hour but classes continued despite the interruption. The two buildings on Columbiana-Waterford Road are connected.