Crews replace power-line pole on East Fourth Street
Kansas Power and Light crews were working Thursday afternoon to replace a power-line pole that split in half after a sports-utility vehicle hit the pole about 1 p.m. Thursday.
The SUV spun out on the road, which firefighters described as "a sheet of ice" in the 1300 block of East Fourth Street. The vehicle hit the pole, which was on the north side of the street, said Tonganoxie Fire Chief Dave Bennett.
Lines on the pole connected to a substation transformer, which is on the south side of the street.
Bennett said he wasn't sure what type of voltage the power lines contained, but he said they had anywhere from 7,200 volts to 34,600 volts.
Bennett said a standard light bulb contains 120 volts.
"That's enough to kill you," Bennett said.
Bennett also was concerned with the possibility of the power lines hitting the ice-covered ground.
Bennett said emergency workers were kept behind the next closest poles to the west and east of the affected pole.
"Conditions would have to be just right for it to happen, but it has happened," Bennett said of an exposed line hitting the ground and connecting with moisture on the ground.
Bennett said KPL officials were still working on the lines as of 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
John Bretthauer, 22, Tonganoxie, was driving the SUV. He was not injured, according to Sandy Koontz with Tonganoxie police.
For more on this story, see the Dec. 6 edition of The Mirror.