Several hundred Binghamton NYSEG residential and business customers were without electric service for more than two hours because of a bushy-tailed rodent.

The outage started around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. According to the utility, It affected sections of eight downtown streets.

A NYSEG crew worked to repair damage after a squirrel came into contact with electrical equipment on Carroll Street on May 24, 2023. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
A NYSEG crew worked to repair damage after a squirrel came into contact with electrical equipment on Carroll Street on May 24, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
loading...

A NYSEG spokesperson told WNBF News the trouble was caused by "an errant squirrel." About 535 customers were affected by the outage. Power was restored around 10 a.m.

Police and firefighters were sent to Carroll Street south of the main post office after someone reported a fire on a utility pole following what they believed had been a transformer explosion.

Portable stop signs were placed at a Court Street intersection while a traffic signal was inoperative during a power outage. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Portable stop signs were placed at a Court Street intersection while a traffic signal was inoperative during a power outage. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
loading...

Flames scorched the pole until the fire was extinguished. The body of a squirrel who had come into contact with electrical equipment atop the pole was discovered at the scene.

Hundreds of people in several downtown apartment complexes, including a few high-rise buildings, lost electric service. The fire department checked two elevators in a 10-story Binghamton Housing Authority apartment building to verify that no one was trapped when the power went out.

A downtown Binghamton convenience store was closed after the electricity went out on May 24, 2023. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
A downtown Binghamton convenience store was closed after the electricity went out on May 24, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
loading...

The Jay's One Stop convenience store at Susquehanna and Exchange streets was closed while there was no electricity.

Police officers directed traffic after signals stopped working at some of the busiest downtown intersections. Public works crews set up portable stop signs at several spots.

A police officer directed traffic at North Shore Drive and Exchange Street during a power outage on May 24, 2023. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
A police officer directed traffic at North Shore Drive and Exchange Street during a power outage on May 24, 2023. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
loading...

Exchange Street, Pine Street, Carroll Street and State Street each had several dozen NYSEG customers affected by the morning outage.

Power outages blamed on animals - especially squirrels - aren't uncommon, although NYSEG and other utilities take steps to protect their equipment from wildlife intrusions.

KISS 104.1 logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com or (607) 545-2250. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

LOOK: Explore the iconic buildings from every state

From colonial homesteads to mansions by the ocean, iconic buildings define every state in the country. Stacker compiled this list of notable examples from historic and government reports and news articles. 

LOOK: This is where homes are selling the fastest right now

Stacker compiled a list of the metros where houses are selling the fastest, according to data from Redfin.

States with the most registered hunters

Stacker analyzed data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine which states have the most registered hunters. Read on to see how your state ranks on Stacker’s list.