A squirrel that came into contact with power equipment at a Broadway substation caused a power outage that affected more than 7,000 Bangor customers. Credit: Aaron Chown / AP

A squirrel was to blame for a power outage in Bangor on Wednesday night that left more than 7,000 people without power for about 30 minutes and shut off traffic signals in the downtown area.

The squirrel came into contact with equipment at Versant Power’s substation on Broadway in Bangor, interrupting residents’ power supply starting at 6:34 p.m., said Versant spokesperson Marissa Minor.

Some 7,226 customers in Penobscot County were affected, according to the utility.

A majority of traffic signals in downtown Bangor were out during the outage, according to the city, requiring temporary stop signs in some locations.

Crews were able to restore power at 7:07 p.m. after clearing the squirrel from the system, Minor said.

Squirrels have repeatedly been to blame for power outages in the Bangor area and elsewhere in Maine over the years. More recently, in January, a squirrel knocked out power for 7,000 customers in Cumberland County after it made its way into a South Portland substation, forcing public schools to close for a day.  

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk for the Bangor Daily News. Send tips to LRussell@bangordailynews.com.