Published: Feb 22, 2013 5:31 PM EST

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Tampa Electric officials say a squirrel or other small animal touched off a "perfect storm" of events that resulted in a power loss at a water treatment plant and a boil water notice to more than a half million people.
    
Tampa Electric spokesman Rick Morera said in a statement Friday afternoon that a small animal likely caused an outage on one of two underground power lines to a city of Tampa water treatment plant.
    
He added that a problem with the city's equipment exacerbated the issue by causing the second line to fail, leaving the plant without power. Electricity was restored but city officials say all Tampa Water Department customers should boil their drinking and cooking water as a precaution for at least the next 48 hours.

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