PPL Electric Utilities

A squirrel knocked out power to more than 1,500 homes and businesses in Lancaster city for over an hour on Wednesday, according to PPL.

The outage struck at about 10 a.m., PPL spokesman John Levitski said.

“A squirrel on an overhead line created a fault in the line and a breaker failed at the North Prince Street substation,” he said.

More than 1,540 PPL customers lost power in the city, along with a few others in Manheim Township.

The line goes from the substation north and northeast to Manheim Township, Levitski said.

Traffic signals were out at East Frederick and North Queen streets; East New and North Lime streets, and at East Clay intersections with North Duke, North Plum and North Lime streets.

Power to customers was restored at 11:17 a.m.

“It is not uncommon that we have animals, mostly squirrels, that get into the equipment like that,” Levitski said. “That’s why we put squirrel guards on the lines, a piece of equipment to block connections so they don’t get into it."

Rodents and birds can also sometimes cause problems, he added.

Ryan Robinson is a police reporter and Voices columnist for Lancaster Newspapers. He can be reached at rrobinson@lnpnews.com or (717) 481-6032. You can also follow@RyanRobinsonLNP on Twitter.