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PG&E Says Squirrel Caused Outage That Impacted 45,000 In East Bay

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Officials said a squirrel caused a massive outage that left more than 40,000 East Bay Pacific Gas & Electric customers in the dark Monday night.

The utility told KPIX 5 that a squirrel got into the El Cerrito substation and damaged equipment around 8:00 p.m. Monday night, leading to an outage that impacted 45,000 customers at its peak. The squirrel did not survive.

Outage Map
Map of PG&E outages on June 8, 2015. (CBS)

The squirrel-related outage impacted customers in Berkeley, Albany, Richmond and El Cerrito. Officials said most of the power was restored after 10:00 p.m.

On social media, people posted pictures of being stuck in the dark.

BEST tweeted "Power outage in Berkeley; friend stuck in elevator."

Berkeley police said they had at least three calls about people stuck in elevators, but all were rescued safely.

The outage also led to the closure of the Downtown Berkeley BART station for about a couple of hours.

Meanwhile, hot weather was blamed on outages that impacted about 7,500 customers in the South Bay, particularly around San Jose and Gilroy. Most customers had power restored by Monday evening.

The hot weather, which was felt throughout the Bay Area, also led to delays in BART service.

Taylor Huckabee from BART said heat-related stress on electronic controllers caused the equipment problems and subsequent delays.

TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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