UPDATE (Nov. 1, 2022, 7:45 p.m.): A power outage that affected 4,000 people in the St. Albans-Nitro area was caused by a squirrel, according to Phil Moye with American Electric Power (AEP).

The squirrel initially made contact with energized equipment at the Nitro substation, Moye says. When the Nitro station’s safety equipment tripped, the St. Albans and Chemical stations tripped out as well.

Moye says it is expected that all 4,000 customers will have service again by 9 p.m.

500 additional customers are without power due to an unrelated vehicle accident that happened about an hour later in St. Albans. These customers will have power restored around 2 a.m., according to Moye.

Moye says that although it sounds unlikely, it is possible for squirrels to cause power outage issues during nut gathering season in the fall.

KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — A power outage is causing traffic problems in Nitro and St. Albans.

According to Kanawha County dispatchers, the outage is affecting several traffic lights in St. Albans and Nitro.

Appalachian Power’s outage map shows more than 4,700 customers without power between the two towns. The maps show the restoration time estimate to be 10:30 p.m. tonight, Nov. 1, 2022.

Drivers should use caution when traveling through the area. There is no word at this time on what caused the outage.