LIMA — Bath schools had to close Wednesday after a squirrel interfered with a major substation.
A squirrel at the Bluelick substation took out a 69,000-volt line fuse, which feeds power to the substation.
According to a posting on Midwest Electric’s Facebook page, the incident happened around 8:30 a.m. By 9:30 a.m., crews had to open up two remaining high line fuses feeding the power transformer so they could safely replace three insulators damaged by the heat-induced arc flash the squirrel caused.
After replacing the insulators, linemen replaced the blown fuse. By 11 a.m., they turned the power back on to the substation.
Because of the electrical problems, the elementary school was dismissed at 10:30 a.m., while the middle and high school was dismissed an hour later.
About 800 residents were affected by the outage, according to Midwest Electric.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.