How many squirrels does it take to knock out power to over 100 traffic lights in the city of Grand Rapids?

Just one!

On Tuesday morning there was a power outage at the Coldbrook substation in downtown Grand Rapids. That outage knocked out 109 traffic lights. The power outage also impacted downtown buildings.

The outage was caused by a squirrel getting into the substation.

Drivers treated the intersections with malfunctioning traffic lights as four-way stops.

Power was restored about 11:30 am.

No word on the condition of the squirrel. I'm guessing well done.

According to, "Squirrel-caused grid disruption in the U.S. is monitored by the American Public Power Association (APPA). The APPA has developed a data tracker called "The Squirrel Index" (TSqI) to analyze the pattern and timing of "squirrel attacks" on electrical power systems. The TSqI is a metric that quantifies the rate per 1,000 customers over a period of time, and indicates two peak periods of highest "squirrel activity" or "squirrel peaking months" (SqPMS) in the year, in May-June and October-November, when disruption is greatest."

I wonder if this squirrel realized he was on a deadline with today being June 30th!

In 1987, a 90-minute loss of power to Nasdaq's automated trading computer was caused by a squirrel. That outage affected twenty million trades. Nasdaq was shut down for about 30 minutes again in 2014 by a squirrel-induced power outage.

It seems like we have all been battling squirrels in one way or another. From attacking our power supplies to eating all the food in our bird feeders. Here is how one man tried to slow down the squirrels from eating the bird food in his yard...

Squirrels can also water ski! Have you ever seen Twiggy the Water Skiing Squirrel at the boat show?



Mini Picnic Table Squirrel Feeders are THE BEST

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