BOISE -- A massive power outage left thousands of customers without electricity for several hours Tuesday morning, causing a headache for commuters.
Businesses, homes and schools in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Star and Middleton were affected. The outage cut electricity to more than 30,000 customers.
Idaho Power officials say it was an animal, most likely a bird, that tripped a high voltage line in Eagle around 7:30 a.m., knocking out five sub stations.
Rolling Hills Charter School in Boise canceled classes due to the outage.
In the Boise School District, Pierce Park Elementary, Cynthia Mann Elementary, Shadow Hills Elementary and Riverglen Junior High began their day without power. District spokesman Dan Hollar said classes were not canceled.
"It's a very large outage, very unusual for us," said Lynette Standley with Idaho Power. "Traffic was really backed up, our crews had a hard time getting out and finding where the problem was and making the repairs."
Idaho Power has equipment that send signals back to help them identify where the problem might be.
"They found wildlife in the area, no equipment damage or anything, but it's looking like it was an animal power line contact that tripped off that major outage," she said.
Power was restored completely by 10 a.m.
Police want to remind drivers that when an outage causes traffic signals to malfunction, intersections should be treated as a four-way stop.