Brush fire, traffic light problems along Kingshighway

Friday, August 17, 2007

A loose electrical wire came in contact with a cable wire on South Kingshighway in front of Van Matre Buick Friday afternoon, knocking out power to some traffic lights and 1,065 AmerenUE customers.

The power loss happened around 2:10 p.m., according to AmerenUE spokesman Mike Cleary. By 3:30 p.m. power to the traffic lights and to Ameren customers was restored, Cleary said.

The loose wire "energized" the cable wire, causing it to carry electrical current -- a situation which led to a brush fire near the Southern Expressway and South Kingshighway intersection when melted insulation from the cable line dripped onto tall, dry grass, said Cape Girardeau Fire Department Battalion Chief Bob Kembel. The fire was extinguished by a fire department brush truck.

Traffic lights along South Kingshighway from Southern Expressway to Bloomfield Road were temporarily without power. Cape Girardeau police personnel were dispatched to control traffic at the intersections. A Southeast Missourian reporter observed minor delays at the affected intersections.

By around 3:15 p.m. police were no longer needed to direct traffic, said Cape Girardeau police dispatchers.

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