According to Neil Neroutsos with Snohomish PUD so far in 2015 there have been about 35 squirrel related outages in their service area. “We can even get as many as a couple a week – so as many as 100 in a year wouldn’t be stretching it,” said Neroutsos. The PUD is taking steps to keep squirrels and other critters out of substations. They include making sure there is very little vegetation around the substations and using squirrel guards to keep the little guys out. Birds are also a big problem for the PUD which has an avian protection program that includes bushing covers and line diverters to keep birds off transmission lines. So next time your power goes out and there’s no wind storm or nearby car-pole accident…It may have been a squirrel.