Car snaps utility pole; 2,200 lose power
By Sarah Nagem
EAST SPENCER ó About 2,200 Duke Energy customers were in the dark for about 35 minutes Saturday night as a result of a hit-and-run accident that ripped a utility pole in half, authorities said.
A vehicle struck a utility pole on Long Street and drove away from the scene around 7 p.m., said Robert Shrack, a battalion chief with the East Spencer Fire Department.
“I guess the pole is just so old and rotten that it fell,” Shrack said.
The lower half of the pole splintered the ground. The top half drooped among the wires that are strung along the poles.
Duke Energy workers were at the scene after the accident.
“When our crews got out there and saw all the damage, they had to pull off the power for 30 or 40 minutes to work it safely,” said Bill Kingry, a spokesman for Duke Energy.
Customers in some parts of Spencer and East Spencer were without power from about 10:40 p.m. until 11:15 p.m., he said.
Two electrical circuits were connected to the pole, Kingry said.
Shrack said the hit-and-run vehicle must not have hit the pole with a lot of force, because no car parts were left at the scene.
Duke Energy expected to have a new pole in place sometime early this morning, Kingry said.