Lights out at area businesses

Ten businesses along Yampa Avenue were without power for close to an hour this morning after a transformer was blown on the 600 block, behind the Golden Cavvy restaurant. Apparently, a squirrel was electrocuted after coming into contact with a transformer and power lines at the same time.

"Our initial investigation concludes that he had a fight with his girlfriend and committed suicide," Yampa Valley Electric Dispatcher Ben Dunning said. "We've been having a increasing amount of trouble with the squirrels being responsible for power outages, especially in the last five years."

According to Dunning, most of the power outages residents have experienced in recent years have been because of the growing squirrel population in Craig. Their tendency to run along power lines and up poles has led to an increased problem of blowing transmitters.

"What we are trying to do now ... is insulate the power lines so that this problem will not continue," he said.

Dunning says attempts are being made to curb the problem, however, power company employees are limited in the time that allows them to squirrel-proof the city's transformers.

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