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updated: 4/19/2014 2:07 PM

Raccoons enter substation, spark power outage

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Associate Press

RICHMOND, Ind. -- Hundreds of homes in eastern Indiana lost power in the middle of the night after officials say two raccoons slipped into a power substation and short-circuited electrical breakers.

The two raccoons met their end about 3 a.m. Friday when they wandered into a Richmond Power & Light substation and made contact with its busswork, the area where a transformer feeds electricity into the individual breakers.

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Utility employee Mike Elstro tells the Palladium-Item the raccoons were "smart little creatures" that somehow made it past inflatable devices used to keep animals out of the transformers.

Friday's raccoon intrusion shut down five circuit breakers, cutting power to hundreds of homes in Richmond about 60 miles east of Indianapolis. Power was restored about 40 minutes later.

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