Blown fuse behind Auburn’s weekend outage

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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A blown fuse is being blamed for Saturday afternoon’s power outage over a wide swath of Auburn. The outage stifled air conditioners, knocked out traffic lights at some major Highway 49 intersections and temporarily shut down operations at several nearby businesses. A total of 2,160 PG&E customers — including many in Downtown Auburn — were without power from 3:45 p.m. to just after 5:30 p.m. The fuse blew out at the power provider’s Blocker Drive substation, with debris from a small explosion lighting dried grass on fire just outside the facility’s security fence. The fire was contained to about 4,000 square feet by the Auburn Fire Department. Jennifer Ramp, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. spokeswoman, said Monday there was no reported cause for the blown fuse and no indication that a wayward squirrel — a cause for power outages in the past — had been the culprit. Ramp noted that a blackout in Davis over the weekend was attributed to the furry-tailed rodent. And according to The Associated Press, a squirrel was also responsible for a power outage Monday morning that knocked out Los Angeles International Airport’s air conditioning.