The households were without power for around an hour and 15 minutes on Monday evening after a beaver chewed through a tree which fell and took down an electricity wire in the Södertälje area – about 30 kilometres south-west of Stockholm.
“The little rascal. It is really something that should not be able to happen,” Peter Stedt, a spokesperson for Swedish energy giant Vattenfall, told The Local when the source of the problem was revealed on Wednesday.
Workers had already been busy clearing trees and branches in the area after an inspection of the 40-metre wide power line corridor in 2013 showed that they were at risk of falling on the wires – but the beaver got there first.
“Yes, but he felled in the wrong direction, so we're going to have to have a word with him,” joked Stedt.
“When trees and branches fall on transmission lines it is normally because of snow weighing them down or heavy wind. But beaver is a rather unusual cause. I think it has happened before, but it was a long time ago,” he said.
Another hungry beaver plunged up to one hundred households outside Motala in central Sweden into darkness after breaking a tree in half which fell on electricity wires in a similar incident back in 2004. The power cut lasted for about four and a half hours.
“We do work to clear these power line corridors, or to install the wires underground instead, but it is time-consuming work and Sweden is a big country – we're doing our best,” added Stedt.
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