Tuesday, Sep 27, 2016
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Dump truck brings down power lines, forcing I-475 shutdown

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Toledo Edison workers prepares to cut off the power of a live wire that was felled by a truck along I-475 in Toledo, Ohio.

The Blade/Lori King
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A dump truck took down power lines this afternoon on I-475 at the Auburn Avenue overpass in the construction zone, bringing traffic in both directions to a halt, police said. At 5:40 p.m.Ohio Department of Transportation says traffic has reopened in both directions.

Toledo Edison customers in a nearly 20-block area lost electricity about 3:50 p.m., including city-operated traffic signals, when the upright bed of the truck struck the 69-kilovolt power line across I-475 in the eastbound lane, Toledo police Sgt. Joe Heffernan said.

There were no injuries because of the down power line, but the accident brought rush-hour traffic to a standstill and the repair is expected to take at least an hour, Sergeant Heffernan said.

“The highway is going to be completely closed to get the wires off the ground. It is going to be snarled up for quite a while,” he said.

Troopers with the Ohio Highway Patrol are assisting Toledo Police with rerouting traffic on I-475 and I-75 while the lines are being repaired. All four lanes of I-475 are affected.

Gary Keys, a Toledo Edison spokesman, said about 7,700 customers lost power. The utility was rerouting circuits to restore power gradually to the affected area, and all customers were expected to have their lights back by about 5:30 p.m.

The accident involved a dump truck working at the on-going I-475 reconstruction project, said Theresa Pollick, an Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman.

The truck's dump bed was up when it moved and snagged the wires, she said.

Officials are waiting to talk with the driver until after the power is confirmed to be off and he can leave the truck. The driver was not injured, Ms. Pollick said.

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