Squirrel causes power outage for Hilton Head Palmetto Electric customers

A squirrel knocked out power for more than 3,000 Palmetto Electric Cooperative customers Wednesday morning, but the outages only lasted about 30 minutes.

Outages began at about 9:19 a.m., Palmetto Electric spokeswoman Missy Santorum said. In all, 3,165 of the company's more than 56,000 Beaufort County customers were without power.

All the customers affected were on Hilton Head Island. The outage mainly affected the Indigo Run neighborhood and the north end of the Island. The outage caused some traffic lights along U.S. 278 to stop working for a time.

About 500 customers received power again by 9:40 a.m. The remaining outages were fixed by 9:50 a.m., and traffic lights were back in working order.

The squirrel wasn't as lucky. It didn't make it, Santorum said.

Follow reporter Brian Heffernan at twitter.com/IPBG_Brian.