Run-away truck takes out powerline pole; Area electrical outage a strange coincidence

Electrical power was interrupted in various locations throughout Waukon and the surrounding area Wednesday afternoon, January 13, but local authorities advise that it was not necessarily a result of the coinciding incident pictured here, where the powerline pole seen standing at an angle on the right side of the photo was clipped at approximately 11:30 a.m. Wednesday by the unoccupied refrigerated food truck facing to the left in the photo. The truck had been parked atop the hill near the Waukon Dental location in the initial block of First Avenue NW when its parking system disengaged, sending the driverless truck careening down the street, where it struck one vehicle parked on the north side of the street and ultimately jumped the curb to clip off the powerline pole located on the southeast corner of the intersection of First Avenue NW and First Street NW, narrowly missing the JaDecc'S U.S. Cellular building located on that same corner. According to local officials, a power outage experienced that same Wednesday afternoon in sporadic areas within Waukon and in certain rural areas was, instead, due to a transformer malfunction located along Old Highway 9 southwest of Waukon. As evident in the photo of the traffic incident, the pole was snapped off at its base just above the concrete sidewalk and also about three-fourths of the way up the pole, with the top "T" portion of the pole basically left suspended in the air by the tension from all the wires connected to it from several different directions. Although it may appear that way in the photo, the pole did not strike the Jeep vehicle parked near its broken base in the photo foreground. No injuries or further damage were reported, although occupants of the JaDecc'S building were ordered to evacuate in case the remaining suspended pole and wires were to fall. Area law enforcement and other emergency personnel were quick to respond to the incident, shutting down traffic on all four streets approaching the intersection. Alliant Energy crews also arrived soon after the incident, first stabilizing the remaining suspended pole before beginning work on replacing the destroyed pole, a task that took several hours that Wednesday afternoon, and an additional several hours the following Thursday. Standard photo by Jason Meyer.