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Squirrels responsible for 80 power outages in Toronto last year, hydro officials say | CBC News

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Squirrels caused about 80 power outages in Toronto in 2023 after coming into contact with power equipment, Toronto Hydro said, after a squirrel-related outage in the city Wednesday affected about 6,500 people. 

Racoons caused 13 outages in 2023, whilst birds caused about 30 outages in the same year, Toronto Hydro said in an email. 

“While each power outage is unique to its circumstances, outages due to wildlife interference…are resolved on average in under two hours,” spokesperson Daniel McNeil said. 

Wednesday’s outage happened after a squirrel came into contact with a utility pole, Toronto Hydro officials previously told CBC News. 

The outage impacted customers for a few hours between Rosedale Valley Road and the Gardiner Expressway, and from Church Street to the Don Valley Parkway.

Toronto Hydro officials said they take preventative measures to control animal contact with power equipment, including periodic patrols of feeders and other equipment to address the presence of animals.

Enclosures and animal guards are also installed on equipment that may be more susceptible to animal contact. 

“While all wildlife has the potential to interfere with our distribution system, these steps help keep wildlife safe and keep the power on,” McNeil said. 

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