Pole hit, power cut to two houses

Linemen work to replace a red-tagged pole in Argyle St, Mornington, after it was struck by a...
Linemen work to replace a red-tagged pole in Argyle St, Mornington, after it was struck by a truck yesterday afternoon. Photo: Gerard O'Brien.
Power was cut to two houses in Mornington when an 86-year-old power pole was struck by a truck yesterday afternoon.

A spokeswoman said police  were called to Argyle St just before 2pm after a truck struck the pole, bringing down a telephone line.

Police were asking questions of the driver but no decision had been made about whether charges would be laid.

The impact left the pole damaged,  and wooden debris and broken insulators spread around the base.  Neighbours said they lost power as a result.

The Otago Daily Times understands the pole, which was red-tagged indicating it was unsafe to climb, was installed in 1930 and in 2013 was identified as "condition one", meaning it was not fit for design load.

Former Delta worker Richard Healey, who visited the scene late yesterday afternoon, said the pole was in remarkably good condition, considering its age.

However, the top was completely rotted out and  it should have long been replaced.

Other red-tagged poles, which had rotted below the ground, would have been knocked over by the impact.

Delta staff were on the scene about 40 minutes after the line came down and later in the afternoon brought in a replacement pole.

A Delta spokesman said power was cut to two customers while Delta line crews replaced the damaged pole yesterday evening.

A first responder was dispatched as soon as the company was notified by police.

Asked if the pole could have better withstood the impact if it was new, the spokesman said all vehicle crashes could damage  poles.

A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said the wire came down on a passing car. The driver told him that sparks rained down on her car as the line came down.

Another neighbour said the pole was clearly decaying and should have been replaced  long ago.

vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz

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