Raccoon Blamed for 5-hour Downtown Memphis Outage

A raccoon described as acrobatic and mean-spirited knocked out power to a section of downtown Memphis that included two hospitals and the newspaper for more than five hours.

July 6, 2010

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A raccoon described as acrobatic and mean-spirited knocked out power to a section of downtown Memphis that included two hospitals and the newspaper for more than five hours.

Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division president Jerry Collins told The Commercial Appeal said the raccoon climbed more than 30 feet, over barriers intended to keep animals out, and short-circuited a switch on a substation.

Overall, about 8,000 customers were without city power late Thursday and early Friday.

Emergency generators restored power to the Regional Medical Center at Memphis and Le Bonheur Children's Hospital within seconds, but the outage delayed production of Friday's newspaper at The Commercial Appeal and disrupted other businesses.

Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com

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