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article imageState tests delayed after squirrel knocks out power to schools

By Leigh Goessl     Apr 17, 2013 in World
Tampa - Students in three Florida schools got a brief reprieve from taking scheduled state tests after a squirrel knocked out power. In addition, hundreds of other customers in the vicinity lost electricity for a period of time.
A squirrel ran across a primary power line that ended up causing a major power loss in Tampa. Electricity to three schools went out on Monday morning, along with that of 700 residences. The schools affected were Lavoy Exceptional Center, Jefferson High, and Roland Park magnet schools.
According to ABC Action News, one witness reported hearing a large explosion just before the outage.
When workers from TECO, the utility company, investigated the situation, they found the cause was a squirrel. The squirrel did not survive, reported WSTP News 10; it was reportedly buried at the bottom of the power pole where it lost its life.
Two of the schools and the majority of the homes were restored about an hour after the incident. One school was not restored until about noon on Monday, reported Bay News 9.
Once power was restored, the students resumed testing.
“I’ve about had it with squirrels,” Tampa Electric Co. spokeswoman Cherie Jacobs said after power had been restored, reported Tampa Tribune. “Animals are responsible for nearly one in every five power outages. Squirrels are the main culprit, but birds and snakes are causes, too.”
A squirrel was blamed for a major outage at a Tampa water treatment plant back in February.
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