From midday Tuesday April 24 all through the night and deep into the morning of April 25, National Grid labored to repair the damage caused Monday evening by the wrong way driver on Pope St by the parking lot of Walgreen’s, damage which resulted in a one hour power blackout of most of the Gallows Hill neighborhood. A massive undertaking – up to a dozen trucks and heavy equipment and dozens of workers at peak effort. Little sleep for nearby residents.
Turns out the inexperienced driver smashed the one power pole on Pope St where a major cable comes underground from the transformer farm across the street.
The cable heads up to the top of the pole before branching into the distribution line. The misoriented driver hit the cable to precisely sever the cable. Miracle no electrocution. National Grid set up a temporary bypass to restore power to Gallows Hill, but had to come back and replace the power cable. Which meant drilling a hole in the transformer farm, snaking the new cable under Pope St, digging another deep hole by the power pole, and threading the new cable up the pole. All insulators and connections were replaced.
The new cable is now housed in a heavy pipe, where previously it was a thinner pipe. The pipe was, and is, on the leeward side (down traffic) side of one-way Pope Street. Such position meant a wayward driver speeding down Pope St. could hit the pole on the up traffic side but not harm such a central power cable. After all, drivers hitting power poles is almost a daily occurrence. Watch your local TV newscast. Never anticipated a wrong way driver smashing the power cable from the other direction.
Remarkable how many thousands of dollars in damage one errant driver can manage. Could have been worse. Might have reached and smashed Proctor’s Ledge Memorial a short ways up Pope St.