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Construction Crew Strikes High-Voltage Line, Knocking Out Power for Hundreds in Montecito

More than 1,000 customers affected when 16,000-volt line is broken

More than 1,000 customers in the Montecito area lost power Friday after a construction crew struck a high-voltage line on Coast Village Road.
More than 1,000 customers in the Montecito area lost power Friday after a construction crew struck a high-voltage line on Coast Village Road. (Urban Hikers / Noozhawk photo)

Members of a construction crew escaped injury Friday when they struck a high-voltage power line while working on Coast Village Road in Montecito, according to the Santa Barbara City Fire Department.

However, the mishap knocked out electricity to hundreds of customers in the area.

Firefighters were dispatched at about 11:15 a.m. to a report of a transformer explosion, said fire Battalion Chief Robert Mercado.

Once on scene, they discovered that a construction crew was working in a 4-by-6-foot trench, using mechanized equipment, when they struck a 16,000-volt line, Mercado said.

“It must have momentarily arced,” Mercado said, “but the worker was not hurt. It’a miracle he was not injured with that kind of voltage.

Part of Coast Village Road was shut down in the area, and South California Edison Co. crews were on scene, Mercado said.

More than 1,100 customers were reported to be without power after the incident. Estimated restoration time was 2 p.m.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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