“They caught the Department of Transportation turn lane indicator sign suspended between the two utility poles,” said Tom Ridgway, assistant director of Griffin Power. “It pulled them together until they snapped.”
Immediately on the scene were representatives of Griffin Fire-Rescue and the Griffin Police Department. They secured the area pending arrival of Griffin Power.
“We respond to all power lines down because of our quick response time,” Battalion Chief Rick Rickerson said. “We’re not electricians or anything like that, but we do keep the area clear to prevent injury.”
According to the GPD, the initial investigation indicated Turner Transfer did have a Georgia Department of Transportation permit which allowed the truck to travel on state highways. However, the company allegedly had not secured a permit from the city of Griffin.
The city ordinance requires that a permit be obtained for all vehicles above 12 feet in height traveling through Griffin. The GPD then provides an escort for these trucks through town, at a low rate of speed. This measure provides a safety net in that if there is a problem, the vehicle can be stopped before extensive damage occurs, such as was seen Tuesday.
“It doesn’t appear our line ever came down,” said Ridgway. “The neutral line came down but the energized line didn’t.”
The repair work was expected to take more than five hours as no work could proceed until all underground utilities were located and identified, and the proximity of the damaged pole on the south side of Taylor Street to a storm drain prohibited the use of an auger. The digging, instead, was done by hand.
“It appears that the lines were clear of the height pole they used to measure but the truck still struck the lines,” said Bryan Clanton of the Griffin Police Department.
Ridgway expects the city to file a claim against Turner Transfer for the costs of Tuesday’s repairs.