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Squirrels caused power outages in Hilliard, AEP Ohio says

Several schools in the Hilliard City Schools District and traffic lights in the area were affected by the outage.
Credit: Deen K Ersin - stock.adobe.com

HILLIARD, Ohio — AEP Ohio reported more than 4,000 people were without power in Hilliard before the rain and wind began Thursday morning.

The cause of the outage? A spokesperson from the power company was told squirrels got into equipment. 

Crews began making repairs Thursday morning and said the area should be restored by 11 a.m.

Several schools in the Hilliard City Schools District were affected by the outage.

The school district posted on Facebook saying that their power was restored around 8:30 a.m., however the schools are still having issues with their phones.

Additionally, several traffic lights in the area of Avery Road and Main Street were affected by the power outage. They have since been restored.

The squirrel-caused power outage comes before Thursday’s severe weather threat. AEP Ohio said they are preparing for possible outages, but can’t predict when they will happen.

“Every weather event, every storm is different on when it hits and where it hits. And once we kind of know that, we’re kind of able to dial in our restoration efforts” said Zach Miller, an AEP Customer Manager.

AEP has offered the following tips on how to stay prepared and handle a possible outage:

  •  Put together an emergency kit that includes non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries, a radio, first aid kit, medications, portable chargers, extra cash and maps of the surrounding area. 
  • Keep away from downed wires and report hazards through the AEP Ohio mobile app, call 911 and AEP Ohio at (800) 672-2231.
  • Do not attempt to remove tree limbs or debris within 10 feet of a power line.
  • Limbs, leaves and other objects moved by the wind and ice build-up could hide downed wires. Investigate your surroundings before trying to clean up any debris.
  • Notify AEP Ohio if you’re using a generator. This protects you and our lineworkers as they work to restore power.
  • Never operate lanterns, heaters or fuel-fired stoves without proper ventilation.
  • Unplug major appliances to protect them when power is restored.
  • Refuel heaters, lamps and generators outside and away from any flames or sparks. Wipe up spilled fuel immediately.
  • Never burn charcoal indoors — it releases poisonous carbon monoxide
  • For the health and safety of AEP Ohio crews, please stay at least 6 feet away from our employees, vehicles and equipment.

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