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A power outage Wednesday morning in Hamilton that left about 2,500 NorthWestern Energy customers in the dark was caused by a squirrel setting up shop at a power substation.

"That's a fairly common cause for an outage for us," said company spokesman Butch Larcombe. "It never works out well for the squirrel."

The outage hit both the north and south ends of Hamilton after a transformer went down at a southside substation. Larcombe said the company started receiving calls on the outage at about 9:30 a.m.

Power was restored about an hour later.

The Ravalli County Sheriff's office sent out an alert warning drivers to be cautious at intersections because the power to stoplights had been knocked out in some locations.

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