NEBRASKA CITY – Two separate power outages on July 4 and the most recent on Monday afternoon were caused by a squirrel and a device failure, respectively, according to one city official.
Leroy Frana, general manager of the Nebraska City Utilities Department, said the July 4 outage was caused by a squirrel that made its way into substation 901, located north of the water treatment plant.
The outage occurred just before 9 a.m.
"He put his feet where they shouldn't have been," Frana said, jokingly. "A lot of area utilities have been having problems with squirrels.
"The circuits were back on in a little over an hour. Repairs were made and completed by about 2:30 [p.m.] It caused a lot of damage. We had blown insulators."
On Monday, the power outage was caused by a malfunctioning safety device known as a differential relay device.
The issue occurred at the same substation at about 2:45 p.m., and power was restored in about 30 minutes. Repairs were completed by about 7 p.m.
Frana said power was out in the eastern and northeastern areas of the city.
"It protected the transformer and dumped the circuits being fed by that transformer," Frana said. "It did what it was supposed to do, but unfortunately, people went in the dark."
Frana could not conclude whether the incident on Friday contributed to the outage on Monday.