Squirrel assault shuts down East Bay

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Not sure that pic is of a squirrel


This happened at Texas A&M once in the late 80s when I was a student there. I had just stepped onto an elevator when the power went out. Somehow I had the good sense to stick my hand out, stop the doors from closing, and get off the elevator. The power was out for most of the day, and it turned out to be caused by a squirrel.


My office (and a big swath of businesses and homes in Hillsboro and Beaverton) was shut down for three mornings this year because squirrels screwed up the same electrical substation.

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Our neighborhood, a few years back, had a squirrel blow out a transformer and take out the power. We all stood outside drinking margaritas and waiting for the power company to show up.

(would have been a cooler story if the squirrel had taken out a Transformer instead of just a transformer)


Then the war would be ON.


It goes deeper than you realize… The squirrels are not what they seem.

Pictured here: A young Ted Kaczynski being told to do “naughty things” by squirrel friend.


I was camped out next to a transformer in Quincy, CA a few years back when an inquisitive raccoon decided to check out the equipment behind the storm fence. And when the transformer went up, holy fucking hell it went with gusto. Solid five seconds of brightness-of-the-sun and unleashed electricity, and then the town went dark. Scared the everloving shit out of me as it happened around 2-3am, but it was quite the sight.
Maybe the rodents are finally beginning to exact their revenge? So long and thanks for all the…nuts?


I enjoyed my #cohousing community members’ reactions to yesterday’s outage, as chronicled by a neighbor:

So funny! Two minutes after the power went out, all the kids in the units next door poured out of their houses and started playing with a bouncy ball in the parking lot. The grown-ups were soon to follow.

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This is not the result of a squirrel. It is the result of decades of neglect. The very people who claim to love this country weaken it at every opportunity.

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And with prairie dogs, apparently…

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This mouse didn’t shut down the power, but it did commit suicide. Its left front paw was reaching for the middle leg of the 480V. Clearly, the international warning symbol is not interspecies. I got to clean this up after turning off the power.

There are more fine photos of animal-caused trouble on this site.


Thanks Obama.

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Electricians always warn to plug the knockouts on your breaker and junction boxes. It takes just one rodent who doesn’t think that the warning labels are meant for him.

Looks like a prairie dog, which is a type of ground squirrel. Wouldn’t be found in El Cerrito though.

Once I opened an enclosure in a filthy basement to find the inside splattered in black tar and fibrous material. My first thought was that the fibers were frayed remnants of that old wire insulation made of horsehair or cloth or whatever it was, but that didn’t make sense — the box wasn’t that old.

Then I found the skull of the rat that had walked across two hot legs and exploded.

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Blowback. We think we can “squirrel-proof” our bird feeders for years on end, but ultimately it’s time to pay the piper.

It looks like a prairie dog to me.

And today, it’s raining in El Cerrito and environs.

Ever wonder how those “sacrifice to the gods” stories get their start?

Well done, Agent 93915a05-9a01-4185-be88-9b0c9915b30e. Your valor and self-sacrifice will be remembered.