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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fallen tree causes more than 600 power outages in county

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Clay County Sheriff's Department deputies had to re-route traffic on County Road 425 W., Thursday afternoon after a tree fell into power lines. Part of the tree eventually fell into the road and was on fire. [Order this photo]
STAUNTON -- Officials with Duke Energy had a busy afternoon in Clay County Thursday.

At approximately 12:30 p.m., Thursday, Clay County Dispatch received a 911 call regarding a transformer on fire near North Clay Middle School.

Duke Energy reported to the scene and repaired the transformer.

However, only minutes later, a tree fell on power lines on County Road 425 W., causing another transformer to go out.

"We didn't know what happened," Rose Johnson, who lives near where the tree fell, said. "The tree fell and it started smoking.

"It was like a light show. It was like an explosion."

Rose said she and her husband, Norm, called 911 about the tree, part of which fell into the middle of the road while on fire.

She added the explosions started traveling north through the electrical lines.

"It was loud booms," she said.

Duke Energy crews arrived on scene after the fire was out and immediately began working on restoring power.

Clay Community School Corporation Director of Transportation Frank Misner said school buses from Staunton Elementary School were already being re-routed.

Because the tree fell on the road and Duke Energy crews were repairing power lines in the area, officials with the Clay County Sheriff's Department temporarily shut down that portion of the road.

The road was eventually re-opened shortly after 3 p.m.

Power outages were reported as a result of both transformers going out, however. But power was officially restored to all residential areas by 4 p.m. At one point, more than 600 customers were without power.

Also responding to the scene was the Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department.

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