Squirrel’s antics leave 130 Salem Heights homes and businesses without power

About 130 households are without power in the Salem Heights area Wednesday morning after a squirrel disrupted the local power grid.

Crews investigating the outage didn’t specify exactly what happened, other than to point blame at the rodent.

“Whatever the squirrel did was significant enough to take down a couple wires,” said Steve Corson, PGE spokesman.

Most of the affected homes are on Salem Heights Avenue, Hansen Avenue, Mulberry Drive and Argyle Drive in south Salem, Corson said.

Two separate outages are causing the power loss: one where a squirrel caused a wire to fall and burn out, and a second that resulted from a power surge caused by the initial failure.

A crew with flaggers is headed out to make repairs along Salem Heights Avenue southeast just west of Liberty Street South, Corson said.

The outages started around 7:15 a.m. PGE expects power to be restored around 11:15 a.m.

Reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.