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Squirrel blamed in Halifax County power blackout

A squirrel got into a Dominion Power substation Saturday morning causing a fault or short and knocked out power to 1,900 customers in South Boston and Halifax County.

According to Dominion Power spokesman Rick Zuercher, the squirrel caused the breakers to open up to keep the substation from being damaged at 10:20 a.m. resulting in the power outage that lasted almost two and a half hours for some customers.

Zuercher said power was gradually restored to all customers by 12:44 p.m. 

In the meantime, Halifax County Emergency Services Coordinator Kirby Saunders said the county E-911 center was inundated with calls from people wanting to know why they had lost power.

Because of the excess number of calls coming into the center, Saunders said he issued an alert message to Code Red subscribers notifying them that Dominion Power was aware of the outage and had crews working to restore power.

“The 911 number is not the number to call unless it is a true medical emergency,” Saunders said, asking the public to refrain from calling the E-911 center in the event of power outages.