Sunday, December 5, 2010

Electric transmission towers collapse

Updated: Tuesday, 30 Nov 2010, 9:23 PM CST
Published : Tuesday, 30 Nov 2010, 8:38 PM CST

Del Valle, Texas (KXAN) - An LCRA power pole along SH 130 near the town of Elroy fell and dragged power lines, causing three newly built transmission towers to break in half like twigs.

”It’s a little scary,” said nearby resident Donald Bolin.

He lives in a neighborhood with his family, several hundred yards away from the newly built transmission towers.

“We happened to know on Saturday that they (LCRA crews) were working on it," he said. "And it looked like they were just extending the heighth of it. We could see that three of them were bent over.”

The accident happened on Saturday when the winds were around 40 miles an hour. But, LCRA says the towers can stand winds much greater than that.

The actual cause of the collapse is still under investigation.

The collapse happened near a junction where other transmission lines go towards Austin.

“That’s the thing," Bolin said. "There’s a lot of criss-crossing going on, a bunch of high voltage power lines through here, so there’s definitely potential for some issues.”

The transmission towers and power lines are part of an 88 mile LCRA project running from Seguin all the way to Hutto along SH 130.

The project is about 70% complete with the structures and 30% complete with the actual power lines.

The lines are not scheduled to be "energized" until June 2011, and even with the recent collapse, LCRA tells KXAN they are still on schedule.

LCRA Wholesale Power Services generates power for customers in a 55-county area in Central Texas.

LCRA supplies power to 42 city-owned utilities and electric cooperatives, serving more than 1.1 million people.



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