Power Outage Affecting Thousands in North Arlington

by Katie Pyzyk September 5, 2012 at 9:39 am 4,413 20 Comments

(Updated at 10:55 a.m.) Dominion reports all customers now have power, following an outage in North Arlington this morning.

According to Dominion Power spokeswoman Le-Ha Anderson, approximately 3,100 customers were affected in the neighborhoods surrounding Lee Highway and Glebe Road. Anderson said a squirrel made its way into the substation equipment on N. Culpeper Street, and caused a transformer to go out.

“Crews are there patrolling and looking for ways to re-route electricity to restore power to customers,” Anderson said.

While some crews worked on re-routing power, others made repairs to the substation.

A number of traffic lights were dark along Lee Highway due to the outage, and police helped with traffic control.

  • nunya

    squirrel b q!

  • TryTheTacos

    Automatic Transmission Squirrel

  • Arl for Now

    Most of the traffic on Glebe this morning treated the dead lights as a four-way stop as I was passing through! I was impressed.

    • Mick Way


      Now if they would just not treat flashing amber the same way.

      • Arl for Now

        Baby steps.

  • B-dog

    This is why ARL is a great resource – thans for the timely reporting on this

  • The Man

    And that squirrel is named “Mini Derecho.”

    • Marc

      I think that its name has legal been changed to Smoke.

      • Zelora

        Squirrels used to be called Squiffy and Spiffy. Then they were downgraded to Stinky. Now they are Shi**y, since they have taken to eating my fancy plants.

  • x

    The exact same thing happened in that area somewhere around 2008, and the power was out for six hours or so on a hot summer evening.

    Maybe this time they can figure out how to solve the squirrel problem?

    • Dude Where’s My Car

      Apparently squirrels cause more power outages than lightning?


      There are apparently these things called “squirrel guards” that utilities can place on transformers to keep the varmints out, but the squirrels apparently figure out how to defeat them and then they tell all the other squirrels how on Twitter.

      This article, by the manufacturer of squirrel guards, seems to contradict itself:


      First it says that “animals” cause 12% of all outages, and weather 67%. Then later it quotes a utilities manager saying “animals cause around 60% of our outages.”

      This man goes on to say that squirrels are eating aluminum. Not chewing holes in metal, but *consuming* aluminum. He does not indicate whether aluminum has any nutritional value.

      Actually it’s unclear to me what’s going on. If the squirrels are after acorns that have fallen on top of the transformers, couldn’t you just put a canopy above the transformers? Or clear the surrounding oak trees?

      Or maybe they need to stop making transformers out of delicious chunky peanut butter.

      • x

        Thanks Dude, you’re the squirrelliest!

      • nom de guerre

        Speaking of clearing trees-I saw a story on tv last night about the city of Los Angeles-they are cutting over 400 mature trees along streets so they can transport the space shuttle Endeavour from the airport along a 12 mile route to the California Science Center.

    • drax

      Time for a squirrel roundup!

  • Dum Dum Guy at the Gates of Dawn

    Why would a squirrel want to do such a thing?

    • Dude Where’s My Car

      Squirrels are apparently to electricity as gophers are to well-manicured golf courses. They are locked in an eternal struggle stretching back to the very dawn of time.

      It is said that squirrels are the only creatures capable of interdimensional quantum tunnelling. They do not chew their way into the heart of a transformer so much as teleport.

    • suicidal squirrels

      • Richard Cranium

        Great band name.

  • YTK

    “I’m alright
    Don’t nobody worry bout me”

    Oh, it was a Squirrel…

  • Bullwinkle

    Rocky? NOOOOOO!!


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