A tractor trailer delivering eggs clipped a low-hanging wire on Second St. in Sidney, tearing a section of the building down and closing traffic shortly before 10 a.m.
According to fire chief Brett Mikkelsen, the vehicle clipped the wire “quite forcefully,” because it pulled down a 6×6 that held the power lines in place. A parapet on the building is also at a 30-degree angle.
Mikkelsen praised the driver for staying in the vehicle while the wires were on the ground and sparking. Bystanders also kept a safe distance during the incident.
BC Hydro responded in about 20 minutes to cut the downed power lines.
“All things considered, it could have been much worse,” said Mikkelsen. “I’m just glad no one was injured.”
The power outage affected the nearby food and beverage retailers. Sidney Bakery was still serving customers with the lights off, and Beacon Cafe was serving free coffee to bystanders as they had no way to keep it hot.
The damaged corner of the building was near a natural gas meter and draw, so Mikkelsen said it was fortunate the meter was not damaged by debris while the wire was sparking, otherwise “it could have been a bit more involved than what we’re dealing with now.”
Mikkelsen said the sidewalk under the building is closed until the site is remediated. The fire department will work with the Town of Sidney engineering department to determine how to shore up the building and when the sidewalk underneath will re-open.