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Squirrel Blamed for Knocking out Power in Emporia

Associated Press - October 31, 2014 1:20 pm

A squirrel is being blamed for an hour-long power outage in Emporia that left Emporia State University and thousands of customers temporarily in the dark.

The Emporia Gazette reports a little more than 3,000 customers of Westar Energy and Lyon-Coffey Electric lost power when a squirrel came in contact with electrical equipment on a transmission line around 9:50 a.m. Thursday.

Westar spokesman Shane Batchelder says most of the affected customers had service back by 11 a.m.

The outage happened while Ken Carter, a former basketball coach upon whom the movie “Coach Carter” is based, was giving a lecture to students. The Bonner and Bonner Diversity Lecture Series speaker paused for only a few seconds before continuing his lecture.