A backhoe is chained to a broken power pole near the former Dairy Queen site at Fifth Street and Rowe Place on Thursday afternoon, keeping the pole upright while crews worked to repair it. Fifth Street between G and I streets was expected to be closed into Thursday evening. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

Local News

Strong winds spark road hazard on Fifth Street

By From page A6 | October 04, 2013

A stretch of Fifth Street at the California Northern Railroad tracks was expected to be shut down into Thursday evening — and possibly longer — after gusty winds created a road hazard in that area, Davis city officials said.

The problem began shortly before 9:30 a.m., when the winds caused a large tree branch to snap off a tree near Rowe Place and strike the railroad’s utility line, which broke a power pole near the former Dairy Queen site, according to a statement from the city of Davis.

“When Rail America crews tried to right the pole, it seemed to destabilize the next pole south of the DQ,” city spokeswoman Stacey Winton said in the news release. “Not wanting to create additional hazards, they stopped work, propped the snapped pole up and declared their emergency.”

Fifth Street between G and I streets was expected to remain closed in both directions until the situation was resolved, Winton said. Detours were put in place to reroute traffic.

The downed pole was one of several incidents emergency crews responded to Thursday as a result of the windy weather.

“There were a couple of locations downtown that had tree branches go into power lines,” said Paul Swanson, division chief for the Davis Fire Department. “One started a small fire on the branch, but it didn’t spread anywhere.”

PG&E spokeswoman Brandi Ehlers said 33 customers near Sixth and E streets lost electricity between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. as a result of one of those incidents.

Swanson said a Davis fire crew took a water tender to assist with a grass fire in Dixon, but no vegetation fires had been reported locally as of 5 p.m. Thursday.

Over at UC Davis, crews responded to multiple fire alarms that turned out to be false, the result of wind kicking dust into smoke detectors, Chief Nathan Trauernicht said.

The windy weather was expected to continue Friday, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning and fire weather watch for much of the Sacramento valley.

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

Lauren Keene

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