Division Chief Dave Bramell said that the Tracy fire department received a call about fallen power lines around noon Monday. Crews arriving at the scene found three lines down near the shoulder of westbound 11th Street next to a Chevron gas station that is under construction.
Bramell said that a witness reported hearing a loud crack and a pop and then seeing the lines fall. Neither the lines nor the pole to which they were attached appeared to have any damage from a vehicle striking them, Bramell said, and the reason they fell was unknown.
When the lines fell to the shoulder, they started a small grass fire that smoldered on the 11th Street shoulder. The energized lines fell near a chain-link fence, prompting concerns that the metal fence could become electrified. Lines still up on poles sagged across the northbound lanes of Chrisman Road.
The traffic signals on 11th Street at MacArthur Drive and at Banta Road lost power because of the fallen lines. According to Pacific Gas & Electric Co., 711 customers on the east side of Tracy also lost electricity.
Tracy fire and California Highway Patrol crews diverted traffic away from the intersection, initially sending cars south onto Chrisman Road. The CHP later moved the 11th Street road closure farther east, diverting westbound traffic onto Banta Road.
Several drivers passed a cone barrier on the road and were stopped short of the Chrisman Road intersection and ticketed by CHP officers.
Bramell said that one lane of westbound 11th Street was reopened at about 2:30 p.m., while northbound Chrisman Road remained closed throughout the day.
Bramell said that PG&E crews were still making repairs past 10 p.m. Monday.
Tuesday morning, a new, larger pole was in place where the lines had separated.
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