A squirrel that climbed up to an electrical transformer triggered a power outage Wednesday that left about 6,500 Snohomish County Public Utility District customers without power for about an hour in the Frontier Village-Lake Stevens area.
The outage occurred about 10:30 a.m. and affected only one substation, PUD spokesman Mike Thorne said.
"We've still got a little work to do to fix the problem," he said about noon, but by then crews already had restored power to customers by routing their power through other substations.
"Windstorms and tree branches are the biggest problem we face, but surprisingly, squirrels also are pretty common," Thorne said.
At the agency's Everett office, gulls pose a similar problem, so crews have installed devices that make noises like bird predators and things that move to frighten them away, he said.
Crews still have to repair some damage caused by the squirrel.
"The squirrel paid the ultimate price," Thorne said.