Truck Takes Down Power Lines, Shuts Down Amherst Main St.

Amherst, VA - Traffic through the town of Amherst was brought to a halt Friday. North Main Street reopened late Friday night after power lines and poles were pulled from the road.A tractor trailer was making its way down Blue Ridge Lane off of North Main Street, just feet from making a delivery, but it got a tangled up in power lines hanging over the street.Stan Ogden was home when he heard the snap and crackle of a blown transformer."I've lived here those 30 years and I think the current's been out four times since on this street and usually it's a transformer, but never like this" he said.The truck was slated to drop off a brand new spa got tangled up in low hanging power lines. What happened next emergency officials say was the ultimate domino effect."Once those cables get on the front of the truck, the driver was unaware of it and this is the result. Two poles, multiple lines down, multiple people without telephone and also power this afternoon" said Gary Roakes, Amherst County's Director of Public Safety.At least 50 homes were without power Friday and traffic was shut down on Amherst's main thoroughfare for almost eight hours."Most importantly is no one was injured. There were no structures that were damaged by the potential fire or anything like that" said Roakes.The truck is about 13 feet tall. Power lines, according to Amherst County deputies are required to be no lower than 18 feet. The companies that own the lines, AEP, Verizon, and Comcast, are responsible for making sure their cables don't dip."We've had moving vans go up and down the street and they've never had any problems" said Ogden.The driver of the truck is fine and deputies say he won't face any charges. As for how the power lines dipped so low, it has yet to be determined.
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