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The large piece of equipment being transported on a flatbed trailer snagged power lines, pulling them down and snapping a pole.

Lights along Washington Road flickered, then went out mid-day Tuesday when a tractor trailer traveling south on Highway 17 knocked down power lines at  Interstate 20.

The southbound truck was carrying a large piece of equipment on a flatbed trailer and according to John Thigpen, deputy chief of the Thomson-McDuffie Fire Department, the cargo snagged on the utility lines. Tension on the lines snapped a power pole on the west side of Washington Road right at the I-20 westbound down ramp.

“He caught the wires coming across right here at the intersection,” said Thigpen.

The downed pole also created a small fire on the shoulder of the road.

“There was a little small grass fire underneath the pole we put out once they got everything de-energized,” said Thigpen.

Multiple public safety entities came together to assist with the extended shut down of the highway.

“We came out and set up a perimeter. My first call is always to Georgia Power on something like this and then go from there,” he said. “We got the crews out here pretty quick.”

McDuffie County Sheriff’s deputies, Georgia State Patrol, and Department of Public Safety Motor Carrier Compliance Division officers all responded to help.

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