Tonawanda News — An underage woman who police say was driving drunk crashed into a utility pole early Thursday, causing a chain effect that closed down a portion of River Road for hours.
At noon, there were more cones then cars, as National Grid crews worked to repair the damage, including nine fallen utility poles, and restore power to several businesses in the area.
Emily A. Harrison, 20, 660 Shad St., was charged at 4:18 a.m. with DWI, refusal to take a breath test and driving left of pavement markings. She is being held in lieu of $250 bail. No injuries were reported.
Brad Rowles, supervisor of the department of public works, said his outfit received a call from police at 5 a.m., asking for barriers and cones to redirect traffic. River Road was closed down completely between Goundry and Schenk streets until 9 a.m., when two lanes were reopened to let traffic through, after National Grid cleared one fallen pole that was blocking the street.
“It was a domino effect,” Rowles said. “But this isn’t the first time I’ve been around one of these accidents during my career. You have transformers, you an have three on a pole, which makes them top heavy. When one breaks, it pretty much goes down the line until it stops.”
Rowles said National Grid would complete the repairs by midnight Thursday.
National Grid Spokesperson Stephen Brady said roughly three dozen businesses in the area were without electricity for much of the day, though after repairs were made power had returned to all but three of them by the end of the day.
“Interestingly it did not affect a huge number of customers,” Brady said.Contact Reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.