Anyone who’s dealt with raccoons knows they can be a nuisance, but rarely do they shut down power for thousands of homes at once.
That’s exactly what one raccoon did early Wednesday in Seattle, where three neighborhoods lost their electricity after the critter roamed into a substation and somehow disrupted the system. The power went out a little before 3 a.m., and soon the utility company for the area was struggling to explain the incident on Twitter.
“An animal entered one of our substations causing this most recent outage,” Seattle City Light tweeted a little after 4 a.m. “Still investigating and hope to get everyone powered up asap.”
It is not clear exactly what the raccoon did to cause the outage, although one neighbor close to the substation said he heard an explosion around the time the blackout started. Whatever it did, the raccoon did not survive it—Seattle City Light said the animal, sadly, had been electrocuted.
By about 8 a.m. the company had restored power to nearly all affected customers.