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Squirrel at root of power fail

A squirrel found its way into a substation Sunday and caused an hour-long electrical outage that left 18 traffic signals in downtown Fort Wayne without power, officials said.

City spokesman Frank Suarez said the signals were in an area bound by Superior Street, Jefferson Boulevard, Broadway and Calhoun Street. Crews placed temporary stop signs at the intersections until power was restored, he said.

Along with the traffic signals, the outage affected about 1,800 customers in central and southwest Fort Wayne from about 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., said Sarah Bodner, a spokeswoman for Indiana Michigan Power.

Bodner said the squirrel had gotten into some equipment in the substation and caused it to fail.

“Obviously, when squirrels stay, they lose the argument,” she said.

aingersoll@jg.net

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