Suicide Squirrels Driving Utilities Nuts

Every year, Neil Engelman carefully collects his data, stands before his company’s board of directors and is asked the same question: What caused more outages? The lightning or the squirrels? Four of the past five years, the answer has been the squirrels, says Engelman, vice president of operations for the Lincoln Electric System in Nebraska. Nebraska is not alone. Many states are grappling with a big increase in the number of power outages caused by squirrel electrocutions. Squirrels that fry themselves on power lines and transformers cause tens of thousands of blackouts every year

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