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Leaning tower of power lands on parkade

New Westminster electrical utility crews remove the top of a power pole that fell onto the Front Street Parkade at the foot of Sixth Street early Friday morning.  - Grant Granger/NewsLeader
New Westminster electrical utility crews remove the top of a power pole that fell onto the Front Street Parkade at the foot of Sixth Street early Friday morning.
— image credit: Grant Granger/NewsLeader

Power to many Downtown New Westminster businesses was shut down Friday after an internal fire in a power pole caused its top to break and lean into the Front Street Parkade.

New Westminster electrical utility manager Rod Carle said the utility got a call from the fire department early Friday morning saying a power pole at the foot of Sixth Street was leaning and the top part had hit the top level of the parkade. Front Street was closed to all traffic during the morning rush hour, but was reopened shortly afterward. The Front Street access road, however, remained closed as crews worked to restore the power.

Carle said initial indications from crews was an internal fire in the pole was responsible. He said an aluminum bracket at the top appeared to have had some leakage that had tracked down to the transformers. Crews reported the pole was hollow because it had been doing a slow burn inside of it.

"It's been there for a while. It's all internal not external," said Carle.

Crews will be working on relocating the power the pole provided to other sources.

"We're sitting here coming up with a game plan. I think we've got it down pat," said Carle.

Most of the businesses on Front Street, as well as some on Columbia, were without power before being restored mid-afternoon. However, three businesses weren't expected to have theirs back up until the evening.

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