TEXARKANA, TX. (KTAL/KMSS) — SWEPCO reported a large power outage in North Texarkana, affecting thousands of residents along northwest I-30.

SWEPCO reported at 9:30 a.m. over 5,500 customers were affected, and 500 customers are still without power as of publication.

“We learned there was a squirrel that caused the large power outage,” said Douglas Warner from SWEPCO, “in the area, there are animal protection devices to keep them from getting in there.”

He says the squirrel’s status is unknown.

Warner said it triggered a safety mechanism that automatically turned on to prevent the power outage from spreading.

Warner stated the power should be restored around 1 p.m. today.