Lights, computers and traffic signals went dark in parts of Anniston today, after a squirrel apparently damaged an electrical substation.
Alabama Power spokeswoman Alyson Fuqua said electricity for almost all customers was restored by 12:45 this afternoon. Any remaining outages were likely isolated, she said, with crews working to restore power for those customers.
Fuqua said the outage began at 10:55 this morning.
Anniston firefighters earlier said they'd discovered the body of the squirrel at the substation north of downtown at 501 E. 30th St. The accident led to a fire in the woods near the substation, according to Rick Sensenbach of the Anniston Fire Department. The blaze covered about an acre, Sensenbach said, and crews were able to extinguish it in about 10 minutes.
Lights came back on at The Anniston Star's office on McClellan Boulevard just after noon. They'd gone dark just before 11 a.m. At the Calhoun County Commission Office on Noble Street downtown, county administrator Ken Joiner said the power was restored just after 12:30.
At the Calhoun County Board of Education, according to Superintendent Joe Dyar, school system staff had difficulty determining how many schools were without power because the phone system relies on electricity.
Anniston police directed traffic at spots on Quintard Avenue, where traffic signals were without power, according to Sgt. Nick Bowles. A police dispatcher said signals were reported out all along Quintard, and as far north as Lenlock Lane at U.S. 431.
Anniston City Schools staff at the central office, just north of The Star on McClellan Boulevard, said the city’s schools never lost electricity.