Portion of Montauk Highway in Wainscott Closed for 11 Hours Saturday

LIPA responded quickly to restore power after pole taken down for the second time in three years.

The broken pole, left behind, shows how bad the damage was. Credit: Steve Kenny
The broken pole, left behind, shows how bad the damage was. Credit: Steve Kenny
After a tractor trailer took down a pole on Montauk Highway in Wainscott on Saturday morning, drivers were diverted down back roads for about 11 hours while utility workers cleaned up the mess.

Mark Gross, a spokesperson for the Long Island Power Authority, said LIPA responded quickly after the pole caught on fire. No one was hurt.

"Two poles and transformers came down," Gross said, adding that there was also an oil spill that had to be properly cleaned up. "There was multi coordinated effort to make sure everything was restored properly and safely for our customers," he said.

East Hampton Town Police Chief Ed Ecker said traffic control officers who were supposed to be working at the Montauk Fall Festival were brought to Wainscot to divert traffic — between Wainscott Northwest Road on the eastern side of the accident and initially at Sayre's Path on the western side of the accident. Later, the closure was moved down to West Gate Road.

"It worked out," Ecker said. "If something would have happened, we would have probably needed to call more officers in."

The poles came down in front of SRK Pool Center. Steve Kenny, the owner, said he was thankful no one was hurt. "My guys just left the office before that happened," he said.

"As for LIPA, they were pretty amazing at getting the power back up and restored," he said. "This would be the second time in three years that pole has been hit and knocked down."

While the road was closed for 11 year hours, outages lasted eight hours.

About 250 customers experienced an outage of about 10 minutes and another 490 customers had sustained interruption for about 75 minutes, Gross said.

"The last customer, who was the only customer fed off of the damaged transformers, was restored about 5 p.m.," he said.

Were you stuck in traffic Saturday? Tell us about it. Leave a comment below.
cm October 15, 2013 at 09:36 AM
Any idea on how this happened?


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