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Power line incident causes power outage

Semitrailer reportedly hit a communications line, breaking the utility pole
The force of the line being struck by the semitrailer caused the pole to break, resulting in a power outage for about 75 residences. (Courtesy San Juan County Fire and Rescue)

A semitrailer reportedly clipped a communications line in the area of County Road 5224 and County Road 5251 at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. The incident resulted in a closure of those streets and caused a power outage in the area.

Devin Neeley, San Juan County spokesman, said dispatch was called at 2:35 p.m. and two San Juan County Fire and Rescue units responded to assess potential safety issues.

Farmington Electric Utility System Director Hank Adair said the semitrailer hit a communications line that spanned the road. Contact with the line put a lot of force on the utility pole, causing it to break.

Adair said crews responded quickly and about 75 customers were affected by the outage caused by the downed line.

“In about an hour, they were able to isolate the pole that got broken and had to be replaced,” Adair said in a phone conversation.

About half the customers had power after about one hour, according to Adair.

Within another one to 1½ hours FEUS crews restored power to the remainder of the customers, except for one customer who received power directly from the broken pole. Adair said it took about five hours to replace that pole.

Adair said he thought the line was lower than the clearance of the vehicle.

The National Electrical Safety Code recommended minimal vertical height for communications lines over streets and roadways is 15.5 feet. The standard height of a semitrailer trailer is 13.5 feet.

Kristi Hughes, spokesperson for San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, said that a case number has been assigned to the crash, but it will take several days before additional information is available.

The communications line was reportedly lower than the clearance of the semitrailer. (Courtesy San Juan County Fire and Rescue)

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