The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

January 18, 2014

Traffic incident knocks out power in Elkhart

By CHERIL VERNON
Palestine Herald-Press

ELKHART —

An investigation is continuing in a traffic incident Friday afternoon that shut down U.S. 287 South in Elkhart for about an hour and knocked out electricity in the general area for more than three hours.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Jack Hallock, a tractor trailer with an oversized load went into the southbound lane while traveling north on U.S. 287 South to avoid a sagging cable line going across the road in the 100 block of U.S. 287, north of Elkhart about 12:57 p.m. Friday.

The tractor trailer still snagged the cable line, causing it to sag a little more, and stopped as the lead escort for the oversized load attempted to help lift up the wire for the truck to go underneath. Meanwhile, a few minutes later a second tractor trailer going northbound on U.S 287 hit the now low-hanging cable line.

“It pulled the cable line and broke both poles on both sides of the road, one on the east side and one on the west side,” Hallock said. “That pulled the power line, then the transformer, which caused a small fire on (Texas) 294 and (U.S.) 287. One of the poles landed between the rig and the load, but nobody was hurt.”

The Elkhart Volunteer Fire Department assisted putting out the fire.

This blown transformer caused power to be knocked out in the area for at least three hours, according to the trooper. As of 4 p.m. Friday, Oncor reported the power was restored. Texas Department of Transportation employees set up cones and temporary stop signs until the power returned.

“This stopped traffic on (U.S.) 287 in both directions for over an hour,” Hallock said.

Other minimal damage was reported at a nearby house where the power line was pulled off the house, causing damage to the roof.

As of 5 p.m. Friday, no citations had been issued as the investigation continued.