Jackson Electric Membership Corp. crews spent Tuesday installing new poles in southeast Hall County after a tree toppled early in the morning and knocked out service for 1,600-plus customers.
The tree brought down three double-circuit poles, and “a transformer from one (of them) fell onto the road and ruptured,” Jackson EMC spokeswoman Bonnie Jones said.
“Power lines were lying on the road,” she said.
Roy Parks Road was closed to through-traffic for much of the day from Talmo Road to Ga. 60/Candler Road. Roy Parks is a key artery for motorists traveling between Ga. 60 and U.S. 129/Athens Highway.
By late morning, power was restored for most area residents.
Nearly 40 customers — primarily residents on one side of Roy Parks, beginning at the railroad track and continuing to A.L. Mangum Road — were without power for almost 15 hours.
Jackson EMC had eight trucks at the scene at one point.
The incident happened about 3 a.m. and initial reports were that a car accident caused the tree to fall.
The mishap’s cause wasn’t known, but Jackson EMC crews routinely respond to random falls.
“With the drought we’ve (had), trees’ roots have become shallow, making them more susceptible to wind,” Jones said. “And the trees themselves are less healthy, which can cause limbs to fall.”
Jackson EMC tries to keep trees trimmed back from lines, helping to prevent outages.
Tuesday’s outage “was more significant because the tree snapped three poles and because the poles each carried lines for two circuits,” Jones said.
And pole replacement is time-consuming, she added.
“Equipment has to be removed from the damaged pole, the pole has to be removed from the ground, another pole has to be placed and then all the equipment has to be put back on the new pole,” Jones said.