PICKUP KNOCKS OUT POWER

July 06, 2001 11:00 pm
POWER OUTAGE: Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative equipment holds a power pole in place on Adams Avenue Friday afternoon. OTEC workers planned to restore power, which was lost randomly throughout La Grande, before replacing the pole with a new one. A non-injury collision between a pickup truck and the power pole caused the outage. (The Observer/KELLY WARD).
POWER OUTAGE: Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative equipment holds a power pole in place on Adams Avenue Friday afternoon. OTEC workers planned to restore power, which was lost randomly throughout La Grande, before replacing the pole with a new one. A non-injury collision between a pickup truck and the power pole caused the outage. (The Observer/KELLY WARD).

An accident between a 4x4 pickup that witnesses said was going eastbound on Adams Avenue and a power pole knocked out electrical service to about 900 customers in La Grande and to the south Friday afternoon.

The driver, who people at the scene said reportedly blacked out, was said to be uninjured. His name was not known at press time.

Robin Stone, La Grande superintendent for Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative, said this morning that the initial crash broke a power pole near the intersection of Adams Avenue and Hull Street, near the Travelodge Motel and

the Grande Ronde Athletic Club.

The pole didnt fall. And the pickup wasnt threatened by downed high-voltage lines because lines extended both north and south, and east and west from the pole, holding the pole in place.

Most residents and businesses had their power back in about an hour and 50 minutes, Stone said, including some south of La Grande out to near Hot Lake. But about half a dozen businesses near the crash site were without power for nearly five hours.

By 9 p.m., the power was restored.

OTEC crews first switched the routing of the damaged main line through La Grande, and then began work to replace the pole that had been hit, Stone said.

Rescue personnel also responded to the area. Firefighters cleaned up spilled antifreeze and oil while awaiting for OTEC crew to repair the power outage.