4k lose power; furry critter eyed as culprit

A rogue squirrel may be to blame for today’s power outage on the eastern and northern sides of town.

A high-voltage line near the John Street substation went down at 2:08 p.m., knocking power out to parts of Abington, Whitman, Rockland, and Weymouth. At one point more than 4,000 customers were without power.

Fire Chief John Nuttall said the power line fell into the backyard of a Charles Street home, where it arced and started a small brush fire. Nuttall said firefighters extinguished the fire carefully while keeping their distance from the live wire.

The town is used to losing power during wind, rain, and snow storms. But Tuesday was a calm, if not chilly, day leaving residents wondering what had happened.

The substation is located at the end of John Avenue, and backs up to a wooded area abutting the Hanover Branch Rail Trail.

Deputy Police Chief Chris Cutter said judging by what he saw on the ground near the substation, a squirrel may have trespassed where it shouldn’t have.

Power was restored to parts of Abington by 3:30 p.m. National Grid estimated power would be back on at the remaining properties by early evening.

The outage was especially frustrating to Sarcastic Swine. The popular BBQ restaurant was closed most of Monday due to a water main break, and parts of Tuesday due to the power outage. A manager said the power did come back on late afternoon and the restaurant was open for dinner.

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